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A week in your favorite firearm dealer's not-so erotic life *or* FC's tale of two grandmas! 9/18/2020
2020.09.19 04:19 fcatthepanerabreadA week in your favorite firearm dealer's not-so erotic life *or* FC's tale of two grandmas! 9/18/2020
Friday 9/11/2020 to Friday 9/18/2020 I won't do the play by play. It's more fun to just amalgamate the highlight reel of the week. Emails! Subject: Sig P226 Message: Will trade for RAS-47? FC: Sure. What do you propose? I have a century arms RAS47 that has 30 total rounds through it. Magpul furnishing blk on blk. FC: Right, you told me that earlier. Shipped or picked up? What value do you put on your trade? Meet in person I’m in Lafayette. Value 900-1000. FC: Okay, so I'm supposed to give you asking price for what reason? I have to resell that gun, so I'm supposed to buy it from you for $900 and sell it again for $800? I was looking for a straight trade so you’d only have to sell it for what your asking for the Sig, or more if you're good at your job. AK's are definitely a hotter demand item right now. I’d prefer if you could text me (number) (Editors note: FC does not text. Only drug dealers do business via text message.) FC: Let me get this right. You want a straight trade so I only have to sell it for what I'm asking for the Sig. I have to do the work of selling two guns so I can make the same money? You can sell an AK for more then the Sig in the current market. I’m just stating how easy it is for you to break even worse case scenario. FC: There's a lot of gun guys in the breaking even business. I'm not one of them. Plus, if it's so easy to sell an AK, why don't you sell it and bring me cash? It’s a trade so your only selling one anyways. Plus all will sell a lot faster... I’m not a dealer I don’t have people walking in looking for guns. Whatever easy sale and flip for ya but your loss bud FC: Selling an Sig 9mm plus selling an AK is two guns. You must have gotten that common core math. I'll tell you what. You think it will sell fast? Bring it over here and leave it with me. I'll tag it and put it out at $1200 and when it sells, I'll have a 226 ready for you. (No response) Subject: Sig P220 on Gunbroker Message: your ad says $1200 with CCL. arkansas ccl is reciprical with louisiana will you honor that? FC: Picking up in person? No. Reciprocal for carry not for anything else like NICS exemption. are you a federal firearms dealer ? FC: No I am not. (Editors note: I'm a manufacturer) if i can l can legally hold own and carry any firearm concealed on my body or in my vehicle , then the rest is just cash exchange between to citizens , i can legally have own and carry the p938 , there is nothing not legal , we cN do a orivate bill of sale photograph my dl and ccl incase soneonencommits a crime , i can have a truck full of guns all legal, i just have to do the background check again to be able to pick up at an ffl , nit requred to register or anything like that (Editors note: I delete the message) Subject: Glock 17 Gen 5 MOS $775 Message: Is that price for real? FC: No, that's wrong. I'll fix it right now. (I change it to $875 on the website) LOL o shit he raised it another $100, sorry man that petty ass shit doesn’t bother me. Honestly it just makes u look like a fucking joke. You’re the problem with dealers, it’s hard to find glocks this month so let’s jack the price up $300 and try to rob someone that doesn’t know shit about guns. Adam Kennedy FF/PM (name of his fire department and department phone number, sent from his department email) (I google his name and email. He's got a low serial number HK Mark 23 for sale for top dollar.) FC: I sold 10 at the gun shows for top dollar, this is my last one. Nobody's getting stock. If you want a $625-650 gun, I've got plenty of those but Glocks are selling for top dollar and then some right now. For instance, if you had a low serial number Mark 23 with everything that nobody could get - wouldn't you want top dollar for it too? I had a mk23 preban with original woodland operators bag, and original Wilcox attachments (well all but the IR) and I put it on the forums. I let people out bid themselves not post it for an absurd amount/hundreds above MSRP just because they are hard to find. The point is I’ve been in guns since around 2012, met some really genuine people and what sets that site apart is people seem to have a mutual respect for each other. I understand that you have a business and have to make a profit but if you can’t separate the two and not price gouge the absolute fuck out of very common items just because you feel you can. Then maybe that site isn’t the best place for you, 95% of the people on that site are individuals and when a business comes along and does that it’s a slap in the face. FC: So, you accept that you want top dollar because your merchandise is hard to find and are willing to accept the fact that the harder something is to find - the more people are willing to pay for it. You do it, and it's okay. I do it and I'm trying to rob someone? That's called moving the goalposts where I come from. Like it or don't like it, check gunbroker and all the other dealers - everyone's getting top dollar. I just did a show last week where I was $975 on Gen 5 19's, $775 on 43X's and $700+ on all gen 3 guns. The dealer across the aisle from me had Gen 5 34's at $1000. We're in business to make money, and people are willing to pay these prices because they're so hard to find. How do I accept that?? When I sold the mk23 I posted it for a set very fair price, people offered me more because they wanted it. And top dollar would be MSRP or close to, top dollar is NOT hundreds above MSRP. Let me ask you this, does Glock charge you more (the dealer) because they are selling a shit load of them and they are “hard to find??” Does what you pay for glocks as a FFL change as drastically as the prices you are charging based off the market? FC: You wanted, and got as much money for your rare hard to find product as you could? That's called getting top dollar! The new ford bronco is going to sell for above MSRP. For THOUSANDS more. are you going to call Ford and complain about that? Of course not.H Hundreds above MSRP is what guns are selling for right now. If you had some for sale, are you telling me you'd sell them for hundreds less than you could? I have not gotten a wholesale gun in stock in months, I have been buying guns at retail to resell. Glock does not set prices and distributors have nothing to sell me - so your question is entirely ridiculous. Do you remember the last time around 7 or 8 years ago when Colt 6920's were $2500 and SCAR 17's were $5000? That was nowhere near MSRP and I didn't hear anyone complaining. Since you don't seem to like it at all, I suggest you leave public sector employment and try to run a business and pay the bills with no product coming in wholesale. (Editors note: FC used to be a public servant. FC used to work in the fire department. FC knows that you can get in deep shit for sending profanity laced emails on city email account with email signature. I forward the email to his department chief with a polite message tactfully reminding him that all emails sent to a city email are preserved as public records.) Subject: Noveske lower Message: Would you be willing to do a one for one trade? I have a NIB Anderson lower. I’m specifically looking for one of a few specific brands of lower and Noveske happens to be one. FC: So I'm supposed to trade you even up and sell an anderson for more money? BTW. CTD got lowers back in this morning. They're andersons and they want $199 for them but I don't think I'm going to be able to get that price. (No response) Phone calls! A: Guy wants a folding bracestock. I ask him if he wants a brace or a stock. He does not know the difference. I ask him if he's building an SBR. He says he's building an SBR, specifically an SBA3. I die a little inside. B: Guy calls looking for 100 rds of 38 special for his colt python. Drives up in his tesla and hands me a ritz calrton titanium black card. $75/100 okay? No problem. He asks if I have any more at that price. I tell him as much as he wants. C: Endless calls for 9mm and 380 ammo. D: Guy calls me asking for a Glock 43X. He comes in and looks. I tell him $775 as he's holding an Amex. I say I'll do better for cash. $775 out the door. He says deal. Comes back the next week with $575 cash and I look at him funny. I paid $550 for the gun retail but he owns the Chickfila 20 miles up the road and gives me a stack of be our guest chicken sandwich coupons. I begrudgingly accept. E: Lady calls me she's headed to the range in a few hours. She needs 500 rds of 40S&W and some 380. Me: I got it. 500 rounds of 40 - $350 1: $350? Me: $350. 1: No, no no! Me: Yes, yes, yes. 1: It can't be $350! That's $350! That just can't be! Me: Welcome to 2020 1: Well the 380 ammo is cheaper right? Me: Not really. You're looking at $65 a box. 1: No, no no! Me: Nobody's got ammo right now and we're getting top dollar. That's the price, feel free to shop around. She never calls me back. F: Guy calls me asking about my Federal 115gr 9mm. Cheapest on Ammoseek is $57 a box. I don't want to be that high so I price it at $55/box. He says how much for the case. I tell him 55 times 20. He's bad at math so I tell him that's $1100 for it all. He calls me an asshole. I tell him everyone's asking me to get 9mm ammo so I'm buying it retail and marking it up. He tells me not to buy it at retail and hangs up on me. G: The gun club president calls me. the club needs a new 5.56 upper. I ask why. Someone shot 300 blackout through the old one and destroyed it. I tell them I don't have any uppers. I have complete rifles. Cheapest is $900 for an S&W sport M&P. I can hear his jaw dropping. There's other miscellany but you get the gist of it. NOW here's the meat and potatoes you've wanted! The tale of the gun show! Friday 9/11/2020 I take inventory. I'm down to about 350 guns in stock and I pack as much as I can and get it ready for the show. I've got some Sigs left, a handful of Glock and a mishmash of everything else. I head to bed early knowing full well the next show will be a good one. I bought a bunch of Glock 43X's retail. Saturday 9/12/2020 I pull chocks at 615AM. This show is about an hour down the road from my house, the last time I was there I sold nothing all weekend, broke my oakleys and vowed never to return. This time is gonna be different, I said to myself. At 7AM I walk in and I start loading into the show. It's a small venue in the middle of MAGA country. Everyone wearing red hats and trump train shirts. In a few hours the doors will open and we are off to the races. I will do hour blocks instead of my previous play by play for simplicity. 9AM: Slow start, the show is spread out across TWO buildings so they route people into the other side and it takes them about 30 minutes to make their way into the big room. First sale of the day is my last Sig 365. For $700. It takes an hour and a half to get his background check back. 10AM: Guy points at an FNS 40C and wants a deal. I make him a deal at $525 cash out the door. He says he'll come back and think about it a bit. I sell a shield for $500. I sell a Glock 43X for $775. I sell a Glock 43 for $700. For some reason everyone is calling me Daniel. It takes me an hour to realize it's because I'm wearing a gray Daniel Defense polo. 11AM: FNS40 guy is back. He says it's a deal. I hand him a clipboard. he hands me an already filled out 4473 like another dealer rejected his sale. It's folded over on the long side and I tell him to fill out my form in front of me. 10 minutes later he hands me the pre filled out folded form thinking that I'm stupid. You gotta be shitting me. I park his ass in a chair hand him a pen and tell him to start writing. He fills it out. I enter in his background check and it does not come back right away. He gets antsy. 12PM: FNS 40 guy wants his money back. I refund it and keep $100 for me. I grab my tablet and someone has swiped right on my bumble. We begin chatting and I ask her if she wants to go to dinner. She's a little older, in her 40's and works for a bank. What the hell, why not. Someone asks me what it takes to suppress his beretta 92. I tell him he needs a threaded barrel. They run $250. Someone overhears me and brings by his S&W 5906 and expects me to get a threaded barrel for $250. Guy asks me to bring the threaded barrel tomorrow. I say sure. 1PM: Lady comes by and asks me if I have any 5.7's. She's on the phone reading down my inventory. I ask her if the gun is for her or her friend. She says for her. I show her the 5.7 on the table and roll my eyes a bit. 2PM: 5.7 lady comes by with her butch lesbian lover. She tells me its a deal and I hand her the clipboard. She fills everything out with lots of errors. I get her background check in and I tell her $1375 Her jaw drops. She was looking at the FNS 9mm for $575 next to it and didn't think that 5.7 pistols were $1375. She coughs reeking of weed. I void the sale. Guy walks up asking me for 70% silencers. I just laugh. 3PM: Another guy comes over asking me if I got a 5.7. I tell him yes. He says he's got $1000 right now for a 5.7. I tell him I'll take $1000 as a down payment. He laughs and is adamant that I take this $1000 for a 5.7 tagged at $1375. I ask him if he's got cash and all his ID and everything. He's on the phone it's actually for a friend of his. I ask him if his friend can get here before the show closes at 5. His friend has no CWL so his wife has to buy it but he's going to pay for it. This guy is barking up the wrong tree. I go back and help someone else. He's looking at a Springfield XD I've brought and asks me if I'm making any deals. I tell him we're not doing a lot of discounting at the show. He shrugs and says he tried. Another guy asks me for a Glock 43X. I walk him over to the stack and show him the tag at $775. He scoffs at me and walks away. 4PM: Show starts slowing down. I write up a Sig P238 Tribal and a P938 BRG for some customers at $700 each. I write up a S&W M&P15 sport for $900 as my last sale of the day. The lady was super nice and understanding when I pointed out the errors on her 4473. 5PM: Time to go home! I dump off some transfers to another dealer and hit the road. It's an hour to get back home. 6PM: I take a shower, shave and get to the restaurant for dinner. 7PM: I'm at the restaurant waiting at the table and I discover that the woman that said she was in her 40's is actually a 58 year old grandma of 2. Someone shoot me. She says she's not that hungry and proceeds to order soup, salad, a martini, an espresso and dessert. She's ordered $65 in F&B to my $35 steak. This was a complete waste of an evening. My depression worsens and not even a bowl of mint chocolate chip can break me out of this funk. My will to live is eroding by the minute. I fall asleep at midnight and set my alarm for 747AM. I make a mental note to move up my therapist. Sunday August 16th 747AM. Wake up, take a swig of orange juice and run down to the deli and grab a sandwich and get down to the show. I grab a threaded barrel for a Beretta 92 on my way down. Note: The guy never shows up for that barre. 10AM: Get to the show and uncover my tables and get cranking. It's a slow start to the day. My first sale is a Springfield XD. The show goes on and I write up an FNS for someone. The customer writes the check out payable to HK NO COMPROMISE. I look at them confused. FC: Why is this check made out to HK? 1: That's what it says on your shirt, HK NO COMPROMISE - that's the name of your company, right? FC: sigh 11AM: Guy wants a can without a tax stamp. 5 12PM: Someone walks over. Points at my stack of silencers 1: I can't pick one of those up here! FC: You got two arms don't you? 1: I mean I can't buy one here! FC: If you got money you can buy one! 1: You're a real smartass you know that! FC: Beats being a dumbass! The peanut gallery laughs at our exchange. 1PM: Guy wants to buy a Walther P22. Fills out the front sheet of the 4473. Satisfied with his answer, he turns the page along the perforation, rips it off and proudly hands the top sheet to me. I die a little bit inside. 2PM: 7 different husband/wife combos ask me for shield EZ pistols. I write up my last M&P 15 sport I brought to the show for $900. It's a good day! I debated bringing another but I figured selling two for the weekend would be plenty. 3PM: The lady that bought that S&W M&P15 yesterday? She wants another one. I have three left on the shelf. I take her money and tell her I'll meet her at the show next week and she says no problem and does all her paperwork. u/throwawayfire343 's coronavirus infected ass shows up and needles me on a gun. 1: How much do you want for this $150 gun? FC: About 350 1: really FC: Gimme $200 and fill the goddamn form right 1: deal! I take his money and wrap up a few other folks and get ready to pack up and head home. He does the form right much to my chagrin. 4PM: Show is closed. I start packing up. I snag 500 rds of 9mm off the dealer across the show. He started with a full pallet. Most of it is gone. Price? $500/thousand. I am packed up and on the road in a little under an hour. 5PM: Homeward bound........I wish I was........HOMEWARD BOUND.............. I hit the truck stop for some diesel and a cold fountain drink. 630PM: I get back to my desk and dump off a fucking STACK of 4473's. I make a bank drop for the cash and I unload and head back home. I'm starving, I go grocery shopping and grab some comestibles. I cook myself dinner and head home. Monday September 14th 10AM: My back is out and my depression is worse than ever. I don't know what hurts more, my back or my brain. I head in and get my 4473's worked on from the show. 11AM: Guy asks me to get some 9mm ammo for him held until after work. No problem. He says he'll be here at 445 after he gets out off at 430. He works around the corner. 12PM: Lunchtime. It's Chicken Bacon Ranch day at the market. I'm starving. I grab my keys and get ready to leave when I get a call from a lady from the gun club. She wants one of my last Sig 938's. I tell her to come by, I'll delay lunch for her. 1PM: Laura shows up and spends 45 minutes with me trying to decide on which 938 she wants. She has no intention of shooting this gun she just wants one in case antifa shows up. She leaves and says she will come back in 45 minutes. Great, I can go to lunch now. 2PM: It try to go to lunch. I am not successful. Laura calls me asking me more questions and tells me she has another friend wanting the same gun. I tell her I will put my lunch on hold and she can come on by. She and her friend debate Sig 938's for a while and each of them buy a gun. I got a twofer! Woo! This calls for a celebration called lunch. 3PM: I get a call from a semi regular. This guy buys a gun or two a year. He's getting his concealed license and does not want the government to know he's buying guns. So he's sending his wife in to do the 4473 for his birthday present, a Wilson CQB 1911 they've purchased off gunbroker. I tell him great, send her over and I'll get her paperwork done. I get ready to go to lunch. The phone rings, Laura and her friend want more of my time. Fine. I will put my lunch on hold. Come on over. 4PM: Laura and her friend come over and Laura suggests that I give each of them a few Sig 938 7 rd pinky extension mags for free since they just bought two guns. I look at them in great pain. Women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent. I'm sorta in a woman hating mood after this week but I don't want to take it out on them. I explain politely that NOBODY is getting free goods right now. if you want mags, I have three left. They spent 25 minutes arguing with me and then they decide to buy all three mags. Great. Terrific. I'm going to lunch now. Your business is appreciated now GTFO. The guy that wanted me to reserve 9mm ammo for him? Yeah he no showed. 5PM: Beef jerky lunch time. I get my keys and get ready to walk out the door. The wife of Wilson Combat buyer is running errands and can be over here. Sure, come on down. I'll be here. She does all her paperwork and we talk for 2 hours about how autistic you all say I am and how not autistic she says I am. Nice lady. She brought me gummy bears. I tell her I am clearly on the spectrum because I behave and think exactly like her autistic son. She fails to believe me. 7PM: I can finally go have lunch! I go to the Olive Garden for lunch. 815PM: I get home from the OG. This is not going well. My colon does not like the pasta and breadsticks. I spend the next hour and a half making three trips to the throne. This fucking week. And it's only sunday. God damn. I take a tylenol PM and sleep it off. Tuesday September 15th 10AM: I get in and start catching up on vendor calls and paperwork. 11AM: UPS rolls in with a wilson and some piece of shit suppressor from some company. I call Lisa and tell her that the package is here and she can pick it up anytime. She says she will be right over. 12PM: Lisa gets her gun and thanks me with some things she got at walgreens. Red hots, and pens. I laugh. I tell her it's fine. She's confused. Her autistic son always liked Red Hots and pens. 1PM: I swing over to the deli and it's Monday. They have hot browns today. I love a hot brown. I grab one and check in on facebook telling the world of my discovery. So many great job poopin memes and comments ensue. 2PM: I call the guy who's got the el cheapo 556 can. He's pissed. That can was supposed to be sent to another dealer across town. I tell him his options. A: I can do his form 4 and charge him my hourly. B: I can ship it back to the vendor and charge him my hourly. C: I can ship it to the dealer across town and charge him my hourly. He's PISSED and tells me to do the forms for him. I tell him email me all the info and I'll get it done. I get an email in GMAIL CONFIDENTIAL MODE. What's CONFIDENTIAL MODE? It's a self destructing email you can't reply to, forward or cut and paste from - which makes this useless since I have to cut and paste all the info he's given me. I tell him I need the data in a different format. He yells at me about PII and stuff and I offer to do the form 4 in front of him. He relents and emails me what I need. It's missing a birthday. No biggie. I email him a draft and he says it looks lfine. 3PM: The guy comes by and he's pissed at the vendor and takes it out on me. I tell him if he does not want to do the forms from me, I can send it to the dealer across town. He's mad as hell and I've discounted my rate to $100 as a goodwill gesture. 1: You're charging me $100? FC: Yes 1: But you're not doing anything. FC: Here's the checklist. 1: The other place did my photos, fingerprints and everything and charged me $100. FC: Great. I'm not spending $8000 on a fingerprint scanner to make it back $100 at a time. 1: So you're not doing anything. FC: I did these forms correctly as you asked. 1: But you didn't even do my fingerprints! Or my passport photos! What the hell am I paying you for? FC: Why'd they send the item here/ 1: Hell if I know! You should call them and find out! FC: You want me to call them? 1: Well you dealers have a special phone number and email. They won't answer my calls or my emails. FC: What makes you think they're going to answer mine? 1: You're a dealer! You have a special back office phone number to reach them that I don't have, right? FC: Are you kidding me? 1: No! You all have that special communication system that the public has no access to! FC: Gimme your $100 and get these forms reviewed, I've got another customer to help in a bit. 1: You mean I gotta mail it out too! The other place did that for me! FC: You want me to mail it? I'll mail it. Get the prints done, get the photos taken and get the form filled out and I'll mail it. 1: The other place answered all the questions for me! FC: I. DON'T. CARE. 1: I am really upset about all this you're charging me the same money and you're doing no work! FC: You want this can? 1: Yeah FC: Then follow my instructions. He pulls out three credit cards with damaged magnetic stripes that won't work. I manually key the card and I'm now working for $96.50 dealing with the biggest pain in the ass I've seen since operation machinegun salvage in 2019. 4PM: I have to go to fedex to drop off today's orders. 1000 rds of 22 leave the building for $189.48. A bunch of mags to the west coast and a Sig P220 are leaving. 5PM: Make it to Fedex where I say hi to Cathy and the gang. I swing by the market on the way home and grab some shredded romaine and a thin cut top sirloin. 545PM: Now I told you this story was a tale of TWO grandmas. Here's the second. I get a call from my attorney buddy Eddie, my partner at the consulting company. He got a call from a lady needing help with some ATF Forms. He knew it wasn't his area of expertise and wanted to know if I could do it. I said send the details my way. He tells me it's an older lady and to expect an email. Moments later I get an email from him. Subject: Forms for Karen Witherspoon Message: Will, attached is ATF correspondence from ATF to Karen, I think you can fix this. Thanks! I look at the attachment. NOTICE OF TAKING DEPOSITION DUCES TECUM - State of Louisiana vs Billy Bob Ray Thibodeaux FC: Eddie, I got your deposition notice not the ATF forms Eddie: Whoops FC: If that's the worst thing that happens this week it's not a bad week. Eddie: She knows you're charging her I didn't give her a price. FC: Lemme look at it and see what we got. 6PM: I call Karen and ask her some details. Her husband was a former licensee/SOT and left a machinegun behind when he died. She did ATF Form 5 and got some errors and needs help fixing it. Just as I'm on the phone with her Eddie emails me the packet. It's bad and riddled with errors. Out of 20 fields that all need to be filled out correctly, 12 are wrong. And not a little wrong. A LOT wrong. I won't get into it here but I might in a separate post. ATF wants the forms back at their facility in 30 days. The mailing date was 2 weeks ago. Which means these forms need to be corrected RIGHT THE FUCK NOW and sent out. Oh and she's got no fingerprint cards. I tell her that I can drop everything I'm doing this evening, go over everything with a fine tooth comb and have this done in a few hours and I can drop them off tomorrow. She says if I can make a house call that would be good since she has furniture movers coming to empty their house in the morning. I tell her no problem. $350 and I'll see her tomorrow. I run down all the forms and fix everything. I do a public records search and pull court filings for the probate and print them off and enclose them as ATF requested. $350 for basically an hour's worth of work isn't bad. There's a steak/bottle of wine split for Eddie in there since it was his lead. 8PM: I call Karen back and tell her I've got everything done but ATF needs a copy of the will. She says she has it. I got everything else they asked off the clerk's website. She's super impressed. I tell her there's a reason Eddie called me. 9PM: Time to cook dinner. My phone is about to die. Just as I plug it in I get a call from u/fat_italian_stallion He NEVER calls me unless something's up. We had a quick chat over the weekend at the gun show that went something like this FC: So that's how I got catfished by a grandma on bumble FIS: LOL that is epic bad. I'm in New Orleans for a week on vacation with the gf FC: The psycho one? FIS: You know it. FC: If you need bail money let me know FIS: I just might! That was Sunday morning. It's tuesday night. My phone dies as I try talking to him. I switch to my landline and call him. FC: What up? FIS: I need a solid FC: How bad is it this time? FIS: Can I sleep at your house tonight? She went nuts again and attacked me. FC: I told you not to get invovled with her didn't I? FIS: She's hot! FC: You know I'm like 3 hours away from you right? FIS: Yeah I got a half tank of gas. FC: Go fill it, here's the address. See you around midnight. You hungry? FIS: Starving. FC: I was getting ready to fix dinner. I'll see you at midnight. Get here when you get here. 9PM-1145PM: I fix up the guest suite and prepare dinner. I run to the Target near my house since they close at 10 and grab a few more things. I get back just before 10 and I prepare to fire up the grill and get a steak going, salad and a fresh ravioli dish drowned in Rao's tomato basil sauce is on the menu. Steak hits the fire at 1130 and is resting by 1145. I plate everything and have it on the table at midnight. 1145PM: I get some spare towels and hotel soaps and shampoos. I head out to the driveway and turn on all my lights and leave the garage door open. I set a lawn chair up and crack open a large bag of boom chicka pop poprcorn and await the arrival of one u/fat_italian_stallion 1204AM: u/fat_italian_stallion rolls up. I've got guns and roses "Used to love her" playing on the ipad FC: sup? FIS: Long day. FC: Dinner's on the table. Lets eat. Wednesday September 16th We eat and go to sleep. fat_italian_stallion does not know I have slid my spare ipad into the guest suite on the nightstand. Did you know you can set an alarm on an ipad to instead of making a noise to play a song? 757AM: The ipad alarm wakes up fat_italian_stallion. The song? A little band called Confederate Railroad blasting "I like my women a little on the trashy side." He'll have to tell you the rest of the story. 9AM: I chat with fat italian and we chat a bit skipping breakfast. He has decided to leave this godforsaken state and put some miles between him and the psycho. I don't blame him one bit. 10AM: Breakfast! I throw on a charcoal canali and hit the chickfila drive thru for some breakfast chicken biscuits. I head to my desk and get some paperwork and some calls done. 11AM: I get a call from my attorney buddy Sam. He wants to know how many laws his client who has sent in a Form 1 and not notified the CLEO has broken. I explain I was just having that debate with someone on the internet! It's not a big deal but still kinda a big deal. Our consensus is that it's not count one on the indictment but it could be count five or six. 12PM: Lunchtime. I'm not hungry so I skip lunch. I head to meet with the grandma with the MG and I go over all her new forms that she needs to get fixed with fingeprint cards and my notes. She's super appreciative and gives me $350 in cash. She can't find the will. I call her attorney that I know and he's not picking up. I tell her see if she can get an original copy of the will from the clerks office or from the attorneys office, they normally have a copy. I ask her what plans she has for the gun. I mean, what's a grandma supposed to do with a registered Colt M16? All her husbands friends wanted it and they all offered her the same amount so she didn't need it and decided to sell it. She's taking the $5000 she's getting and going on an Alaskan cruise with the grandkids after the world calms down. I shrug. She should have called me. 2PM: Back at my desk, I call the judge's chambers that's doing the probate. Judge Smith LOVES the 308 that I got him a few years ago and is super pleased with my services since he didn't tell the wife about his purchase and I had just gotten a damaged case of 308 PMC Bronze that I made him a hell of a deal on that UPS wrote off. I tell the JA that ATF probably isn't going to call but in case they do just be ready. She's super glad that I told her ahead of time so she can be ready. Judge Smith is retiring in a few months and he's got some time in the schedule so she patches me through and we catch up for a little bit. I am told that they're going to try to do a COVID compliant socially distanced retirement disrobing party but it's all up in the air. I say if you all need someone to bring potato salad to let me know. As a stalwart of the legal community for many years, lots of folks know the judge so it's well deserved after 20+ years on the bench. As I am also well known in the legal communty the least I can do is show up with a bottle of red for the guy that's signed hundreds of form 4's for me over the years. 3PM: I ship out a few more pistols and sell an M1A scout squad to a guy in California. Not a bad day. 4PM: I'm done for this week. Between the gun show and getting catfished and everything I've earned some time off. I think I'm gonna take the rest of the week off. The phone rings and a guy wants some 9mm ammo. I sell him 500 rds at $375 plus shipping. Thursday September 17th to Friday September 18th: I wrote this for you all to read. PS - and this is how you do a "week in the life" thread, you fucking imposter. https://www.reddit.com/guns/comments/i759qj/a_week_in_the_life_of_your_favorite_firearm/
2020.09.10 22:19 thedialupgamerMy internets been out for most of my semester.
So im taking my classes online and my internets been out due to the hurricane that hit Louisiana, but my isp keeps moving the date its due to come back by 12 hours when it get near the time its supposed to be back by, so i cant do my classes online and this unit is due the 20th, im planning on going to my uncles monday to try to play catch up, but when should i give my professor a heads up that i might not be done on time due to my internet being out. Edit: the reason i waited so long is that my isp since the 3rd has been giving me a new estimate every 12 hours,eg on the 3rd they said 10 pm that night, at 10 pm they said 10 am the next day, they kept doing this everyday since so i thought they were close to fixing it.
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2020.08.05 03:05 DubupolarbearLooking to upgrade from my GTX1050 laptop
What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
I'm looking to upgrade my current laptop to a more powerful Desktop. I'll be using it primarily for games such as Dota 2, Valorant and other generally easy to run games but I'd like to be able to support VR capabilities within the next year with titles such as Half Life Alyx. I'll also be running engineering application such as AutoCad on it as well and maybe dabbling in some basic music production
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
I plan on building between the latter half of August through early September
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
ToweOS/MonitoKeyboard. I would like at least a 1080p monitor at 144 Hz. A twin monitor display would be appreciated but isn't critical
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
USA, Louisiana. Unlikely able to but if the value is warranted then perhaps
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR) announced the launch of Shaw Mobile — a new wireless service in Canada that leverages Shaw's Fast LTE and Fibre+ network to provide Shaw Internet customers with an innovative wireless experience that can virtually eliminate their monthly wireless data bill. Teleflex Incorporated (TFX) announced that 200,000 patients have been treated with the minimally invasive UroLift System for benign prostatic hyperplasia worldwide. GRAVITY Co., Ltd. (GRVY) signed a joint publishing contract with ByteDance Ltd., a multinational content platform company, for a new MMORPG mobile game, Ragnarok X: Next Generation in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Southeast Asia. Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) and Polar Beverages jointly announced today that they entered into a long-term franchise agreement that will provide national distribution to Polar Seltzer sparkling seltzer waters, including Polar Seltzer'ade and SeltzerJR, across all channels through the power of KDP's direct store delivery and manufacturing network. 8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp. (JFK) announced that Diginex, a digital asset financial services and advisory company with which JFK entered into a definitive share exchange agreement dated July 9, 2019, launched its digital asset exchange EQUOS.io. EQUOS.io. is built to institutional-grade specifications and designed to improve the experience of trading digital assets for all market participants. The launch of the exchange is another important milestone for Diginex in advance of the planned business combination with JFK, which, upon expected completion in the third quarter of 2020, will offer investors the opportunity to participate in the growth of this emerging asset class via the public markets. SolarWinds (SWI) announced the SolarWinds Orion Suite for Federal Government v4.0 is undergoing evaluation for Common Criteria at the Evaluation Assurance Level 2+ by the Netherlands Scheme for Certification in the Area of IT Security. In addition, SolarWinds Security Event Manager v2019.4 is undergoing evaluation for Common Criteria at the Evaluation Assurance Level 2+ by the Singapore Common Criteria Scheme. The Common Criteria is an international set of guidelines and specifications designed to ensure information security products meet agreed-upon security, functional, and assurance standards for government deployments in 30 nations. Conformance is verified through laboratory evaluation and scheme certification. Magellan Health, Inc. (MGLN) announced that Magellan Complete Care of Louisiana, Inc., dba Magellan of Louisiana, has earned Full Medicaid Managed Behavioral Health Organization Accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
2020.07.06 14:59 rusticgorilla[Lost in the Sauce] Trump prioritizes statues of racist generals over human lives
Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis. I might do a coronavirus-centric post tomorrow or Wednesday, couldn’t fit it here. Will have to do it this weekend or next week, sorry. Working on an article for FN. Housekeeping:
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Statues over people
Over the past week, we’ve seen the crystallization of Trump’s apparent re-election strategy: protect statues at all costs. During his two public speeches (clip 1 (clip 2), Trump focused on confederate monuments and “cancel culture” while the nation grapples with a record-breaking number of coronavirus cases and a struggling economy. Trump promised to veto this year’s annual defense bill if an amendment is included that would require the Pentagon to change the names of bases named for Confederate military leaders… Sen. Elizabeth Warren sponsored the amendment that would change the names of 10 bases named after Confederate generals as well as remove Confederate likenesses, symbols, and paraphernalia from defense facilities nationwide within three years.
The amendment is unlikely to be removed, however, as it passed the Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee with bipartisan support. This means that it would require 60 votes on the Senate floor to get rid of it.
Warren: “The decision to remove the names of Confederate generals who took up arms against the United States in defense of slavery was a bipartisan decision that came out of the committee, and it’s going to stay in the defense budget. The president can do what he wants, but it stays.”
Trump signed an executive order on June 26 directing the Department of Justice to “prosecute to the fullest extent permitted under Federal law” people who damage federal monuments. He took to Twitter to announce the order: “Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!” Damaging federal property can be punished by up to 10 years in prison. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) plans to introduce legislation withholding federal funding for states and cities that don't adequately protect statues and monuments. Trump’s executive order included a provision to do the same, but the White House is not in a position to enforce such a clause. The Department of Homeland Security announced a new task force to protect "American monuments, memorials and statues." DHS said it was launching rapid deployment teams to federal monuments over the July 4th weekend. "DHS should not be prioritizing the protection of property over the wellbeing of Black and Brown communities,” the ACLU responded.
Just want to point out: The federal government apparently has the resources to spare to guard monuments but not to conduct thorough contact tracing and isolation.
During Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech, he announced an executive order establishing a "national garden” for statues of “American heroes” (video). The choice in statues proves that the idea is meant as a divisive wedge issue. Indeed, there is already a “Hall of Fame for Great Americans” in existence in the Bronx.
Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Norway was involved in the creation of a racist campaign flyer in the 1990s and failed to disclose subsequent legal action associated with it. Mark Burkhalter helped create a flier that distorted the features of a black politician in Georgia, darkened his features, gave him a large afro, and prompted a libel suit.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Robert Menendez is urging the White House to withdraw Burkhalter’s nomination: "During this time of national trauma and reckoning over violence and racist actions against African-Americans, however, it is unthinkable to nominate for a position of public trust an individual who participated in such a despicable, racist scheme," Menendez wrote in a letter.
Trump appointee Michael Pack fired the top officials of the USAGM’s internet freedom group. In less than a decade, the Open Technology Fund has quietly become integral to the world’s repressed communities. Over two billion people in 60 countries rely on tools developed and supported by the fund, like Signal and Tor, to connect to the internet securely and send encrypted messages in authoritarian societies. The White House directed Defense Department officials to hire former National Security Council staffer Rich Higgins, who was fired for circulating a conspiratorial memo and known for Islamophobic tweets… The move is part of an aggressive push to staff the Pentagon with figures loyal to Trump and with connections to Michael Flynn. White House is conducting “loyalty test” interviews with political appointees at the Pentagon. The interviews will be conducted by two subordinates of John McEntee, Trump’s former body man who now runs the personnel office: John Troup Hemenway, an undergraduate student, and Jordan Hayley, who graduated from university last month. House Democrats call for firing of USAID political appointee with history of Islamophobic statements… Religious freedom adviser Mark Kevin Lloyd shared a Facebook post calling Islam “a barbaric cult” and accused Obama of being connected with the Muslim Brotherhood. Reps. Joaquin Castro and Ilhan Omar: “He does not represent the values of our country, and he should not be in a position to betray our nation’s constitutional promise of religious freedom.” A second USAID Trump appointee is under fire for hate-filled rhetoric, including anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ comments. Merritt Corrigan, the recently appointed deputy White House liaison at USAID, said “women shouldn’t be in office” and urged followers to “speak out now about the transsexual agenda before it becomes normalized."
Coming up this morning: More Supreme Court opinions to be released at 10 am (ET). There are eight cases that have yet to be ruled on, including those involving Trump’s finances. The Supreme Court agreed Thursday to hear arguments this fall about Mueller’s grand jury evidence, postponing the House Judiciary Committee’s potential access to the material until after the election. SCOTUS could have declined the hear the case, preserving the lower court ruling granting the committee access. Last week, SCOTUS struck down a Louisiana law that required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The ruling should be seen only as a momentary win, as Chief Justice Roberts didn’t rule on the merits of a constitutionally protected right to abortion—rather he deferred to the power of the court itself, leaving the door open for future challenges.
The Supreme Court also gave Indiana a second chance to revive two restrictive abortion laws - one imposing an ultrasound requirement and the other expanding parental notification when minors seek abortions - by throwing out a lower court's rulings to block them.
Related: Missouri Supreme Court denies attempt to defund Planned Parenthood
More on Roberts: “[H]e is moving the ball steadily down the constitutional field, toward the conservative end zone. Of the dozen 5-to-4 cases decided by the Supreme Court this term, Roberts is the only justice to have been in the majority each time. He sided with the liberals just twice.”
The Supreme Court ruled that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is constitutionally valid but the director can be removed by the president at will. The outcome is a mixed bag, but Elizabeth Warren - creator of the agency - highlighted the fact that the conservative court ruled “the CFPB is here to stay.” Furthermore, if Biden wins in November, the decision allows him to fire Trump’s director before her term would have ended. The Supreme Court declined to take up the case of federal death row prisoners who had challenged the government’s lethal injection protocol,paving the way for the Trump administration to carry out the first executions at the federal level in nearly two decades.
The Supreme Court ruled that states must allow religious schools to participate in programs that provide scholarships to students attending private schools, a decision that opened the door to more public funding of religious education.
The upshot: Taxpayers in most of the country will soon start funding overtly religious education—including the indoctrination of children into a faith that might clash with their own conscience. For example, multiple schools that participate in Montana’s scholarship program inculcate students with a virulent anti-LGBTQ ideology that compares homosexuality to bestiality and incest…
A New York appellate court lifted the temporary restraining order against Simon & Schuster, allowing the publisher to continue printing and distributing Mary Trump’s book. The next hearing regarding the restraining order against Mary herself is scheduled for this Friday. UPDATE: "Due to high demand and extraordinary interest in this book, Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump will now be published on July 14, 2020," Simon & Schuster says. The previous publishing date was July 28. In court filings, Mary Trump argues that the confidentiality agreement she signed 19 years ago was an unenforceable fraud. Her lawyers state that when she signed the NDA, she believed the asset amounts in it were accurate but learned they were bogus from a New York Times expose. Essentially, Mary says the president and his siblings of engaging in systematic fraud by devaluing assets.
“The Times found that the Trump family had engineered ‘friendly’ appraisals for Beach Haven and Shore Haven Apartments—two of the largest ‘crown jewels’ of Fred Trump’s empire—that were significantly and deliberately undervalued to avoid a variety of tax payments,” the memo stated. “Those undervalued appraisals, part of the Trump tax avoidance scheme, were relied upon in the Settlement Agreement—which Ms. Trump has testified she would not have signed if she had known about the fraudulent appraisals.”
See also “Voting Rights” section
Trump campaign and properties
Health secretary Alex Azar focuses trips on swing states needed by Trump… Azar’s travel priorities appear to be related to politics, not the states fighting the worst outbreaks, according to Obama-era officials. Last year, the Republican National Convention began cutting checks to a former producer of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice who was accused of having, as one contestant put it, “all the dirt” on Donald Trump. The RNC’s disbursements to Labella’s firm appear to be the first payments ever made by a federal political committee to either Labella personally or his company. But a RNC spokesperson described his role for the convention as that of a standard event producer. Trump is planning on holding a $580,600-per-couple campaign fundraiser in Broward County this week. Last month, Trump resumed in-person fundraising with two events, including a June 11 gathering in Dallas that cost $580,600 per couple. The campaign said it raised more than $10 million through that event. A t-shirt for sale on Trump’s official campaign website displays an “america First” logo with a striking similarity to the Nazis' Iron Eagle symbol (comparison). A little over two weeks ago, Facebook removed numerous Trump campaign posts and ads featuring an upside down red triangle symbol once used by Nazis to identify political opponents.
Let’s not forget that a little over a week ago, Trump retweeted a video that included a Trump supporter shouting “white power.” The president commented that his supporters in the video are “great people.” Staffers tried for three hours to reach Trump to get permission to delete the tweet, but Trump was on the golf course.
Speaking of Trump and golfing, this weekend Trump spent his 365th day as president on one of his own properties. In fact, on the day the U.S. set a daily global record for the coronavirus pandemic - surpassing 55,000 new cases - Trump was golfing. Further reading: “Pence donors, allies helped finance vice president's legal defense fund for Mueller probe” and “The owner ‘The Hill’ helped secure an unpaid White House position for his wife — a fact the publication did not disclose to readers.”
The Supreme Court blocked a trial judge’s order that would have made it easier for voters in three Alabama counties to use absentee ballots in this month’s primary runoff election. State officials had asked the court to block a lower court’s order that eased photo ID and witness requirements for absentee voting during the pandemic. The Supreme Court declined to fast-track a bid by Texas Democrats to decide whether all Texas voters can vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic… Texas law allows voters to mail in their ballots only if they are 65 or older, confined in jail, will be out of the county during the election period, or cite a disability or illness. A federal appeals court halted the voting registration of thousands of Florida felons who cannot pay fines or fees, just weeks after a lower court threw out the state law mandating payment of all legal financial obligations before voting. The 11th Circuit decision granted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to suspend voter registration until the full court hears the case.
Reminder: Late last year, the Senate confirmed Judge Barbara Lagoa to the 11th Circuit, flipping the court to majority GOP appointees.
A federal appeals court in Wisconsin has reaffirmed voting restrictions favored by Republicans,limiting early voting to 2 weeks before an election and barring voters from receiving ballots via email or fax. In some good news, the Atlanta Hawks is going to turn its arena into the largest polling site in state history. Hundreds of Hawks employees and arena staff will be trained as election workers at the 700,000-square-foot venue, which hosts more than 16,000 spectators for basketball games and 21,000 for concerts. The team says parking will be free for voters and more than 1,500 spaces will be made available.
ICE unlawfully jails unaccompanied migrant children once they turn 18, judge rules… Many of ICE’s largest field offices “nearly automatically” send minors to adult jails, even when in extreme cases their parents in the United States or other sponsors would take them, the judge wrote. The week before last, a federal judge ordered the release of children held with their parents in U.S. immigration jails and denounced the Trump administration’s prolonged detention of families during the coronavirus pandemic.
Prior to the ruling, it was reported that eleven immigrants held inside a detention facility for families in Texas have tested positive for COVID-19
Further reading: ICE Asked Parents to Choose Between Family Separation and Prolonged Detention—During a Pandemic
A government watchdog agency responsible for overseeing the conditions that federal agencies hold immigrants in said it will not be visiting facilitiesbecause of the coronavirus, which observers worry will diminish independent inspections. 'Suddenly they started gassing us': Cuban migrants tell of shocking attack at Ice prison… Refugees say protest against risk of Covid-19 was violently suppressed at New Mexico facility run by private firm CoreCivic. A federal judge overturned a Trump border rule requiring immigrants to first claim asylum in another country… Trump-appointee Judge Timothy J. Kelly of Washington, D.C. ruled that the administration’s rule violated the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Trump administration is preparing broad new immigration restrictions that would deny humanitarian refuge to anyone from a country with a disease outbreak,deeming those asylum seekers to be a danger to public safety.
Meanwhile, travelers from the U.S. are banned from entering countries in Europe, must quarantine when visiting England, and will have to pass through health checkpoints to visit Sonora (the Mexican state that borders Arizona).
The US agency that oversees and administers key facets of the immigration system, including the processing of citizenship, green cards, and asylum applications is about to come to a near halt. If Congress does not provide US Citizenship and Immigration Services with emergency funding before Aug. 3, the employees, who make up more than 60% of all staffers, will be furloughed. Border wall built by Trump’s hand-picked contractor is in danger of falling into the Rio Grande… Trump supporters funded the private border wall on the banks of the Rio Grande, helping the builder secure $1.7 billion in federal contracts. Last December, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., called for the Pentagon’s inspector general to review Fisher’s first $400 million fence contract, awarded in December over concerns of “inappropriate influence.” The audit is ongoing. Fun fact: All but 3 of the 216 miles of border wall constructed by the Trump administration are essentially much larger replacements of existing, dilapidated fences or vehicle barriers
Pro-pipeline letters by key legislators, including North Dakota’s governor, were actually ghostwritten by a fossil fuel company
The Fed Is Bailing Out Polluters While Cities Struggle: Fossil fuel interests have readier access to stimulus money than many local governments.
Trump's trade war hurt Maine's lobster industry. He falsely blames Obama: The president has moved to bail out the state's all-important seafood industry. But his policies caused the problem.
White House directs Agriculture Department to extend farmer bailout money to lobster industry
Trump’s EPA balks at a chance to save black lives: Soot sickens and kills people of color disproportionately. The EPA has decided to not tighten standards that would protect them and others.
A Democratic U.S. senator says he has written to Attorney General William Barr outlining his concerns about potential “political interference” by the Trump administration in an investigation of a private espionage firm that targeted environmental groups in the United States.
The Trump administration proposed to open more than two-thirds of the nation’s largest piece of public land to oil and gas drilling, removing wildlife protections for the Alaskan tract that have been in place for more than four decades.
Trump Has Dismantled More Monuments Than Any Protest: Trump has done the most damage to national monuments, dismantling or desecrating four federally protected land and water sites with significant cultural, archeological and natural resources.
These stories didn’t fit in a previous category, but I think it’s important to include… A new Trump administration proposal would let government-funded, single-sex homeless shelters keep transgender people out for religious reasons, and advocates worry that could subject them to more violence than they already face.
In the past, Secretary Carson has called transgender women “big, hairy men” intruding on women’s shelters and referred to “Biblical principles” to justify misgendering transgender women.
President Trump has taken aim at an Obama-era program intended to eliminate racial housing disparities in the suburbs, a move proponents of the policy see as an attempt to shore up his sagging support among white suburban voters by stoking racial division. The Trump administration is in discussions to end a decades-old practice of informally notifying Congress of major arms sales to foreign countries… Administration officials say they are tired of regular efforts by Capitol Hill to review arms exports to Saudi Arabia and other nations. The White House asked a Republican senator to block a bill that punishes China over its encroachments in Hong Kong. That senator, Kevin Cramer, obliged, blocking unanimous passage of the bill last week — even though he’s a co-sponsor of it.
2020.06.30 20:01 goodamericaDiploma Privilege: What This Moment Demands
JUNE 26, 2020 08:55:45 PM Vania M. SmithEdited by: Tim Zubizarreta Vania M. Smith, a J.D. 2020 graduate of the Catholic University of America, discusses the racial and socioeconomic inequities facing 2020 Bar Exam students and calls for diploma privilege... COVID-19 has forced jurisdictions across the country to make decisions regarding the administration of this year’s Bar Exam. These decisions have altered the date, location, format, and portability of results; and have done so in ways that are anything but equitable. What has resulted is an atmosphere of stressful uncertainty and confusion that has laid bare the inherent socioeconomic and racial inequities of this antiquated rite of passage into the legal profession. To steal an oft tested phrase on the MBE, in the interest of “fair play and substantial justice,” bar examiners across the country must accept that the protection of this ritual through the administration of either in-person or remote exams during the COVID-19 crisis is unfair and unjust. Diploma privilege is the equitable solution this moment demands. The formula for bar preparation is quite simple. Graduate from law school, pay $2,000–$5,000 for commercial bar preparation programs and study materials, quit or delay the start of a job to study for 8–10 weeks, spend 6–10 hours per day studying, pay the necessary fees which range from $500–$1,800, and sit for the bar exam. This formula was already fraught with socioeconomic and racial disparities prior to COVID-19. However, when the effects of a global pandemic are injected into the administration of the bar exam, the inequities become alarming. Traditional graduates often leave law school with substantial debt and are given limited time after graduation before payments commence. The lucky graduates were able to complete the prerequisite unpaid internships, work as a paid summer associate, and land a firm job that will cover bar preparation expenses. But what about graduates with limited resources, no familial financial support, and no firm job to bridge the gap? What about the graduates who worked full-time during law school and were unable to accept unpaid internships? What about non-traditional students with dependent children? Enter COVID-19 and we now have a class in crisis. The country is in the midst of record unemployment. Graduates relying on jobs in the service industry for basic income are out of work. Law firms are bracing for a recession and have all but halted entry-level hiring. As jurisdictions continue to push the standard administration of the July exam deeper into the calendar year through October, graduates are forced to go without a source of income longer; amassing more debt, and possibly losing entry-level positions to February 2020 examinees, who are now licensed attorneys. This socioeconomic crisis also makes the very process of getting a seat at the bar exam fundamentally unfair. As accessibility to exam dates has fluctuated throughout the summer, graduates with economic means have paid multiple jurisdictions in hopes of getting a seat where a portable score is offered. Graduates have positioned themselves to take the bar exam in preferred jurisdictions only accessible via travel and hotel stays that many cannot afford. Once a seat is secured, how does a graduate prepare during a pandemic? Public libraries, coffee shops, and law schools have been closed since March, forcing bar examinees across the country to study at home. For the select few, home during the crisis is back with their parents, with access to conducive study space; but for the vast majority of examinees, cramped apartment living is the norm. In a typical summer, a conducive study environment could easily be achieved by providing recent graduates with access to study rooms in public libraries, space on law school or college campuses, or an office setting on breaks or after hours. However, these potential equalizers are all closed. As I write this article, home for me is in a neighborhood in Washington, D.C. where the unemployment rate is four times the national average. Schools and summer camps are closed due to the ongoing pandemic. In short, everyone is at home. This creates an environment where noise is a constant distraction. This is even more of a barrier to success for those with children at home who have to balance being caregivers and studying at the same time, including many who had to finish law school while home-schooling their children. Finally, extreme mental stressors are rampant. Black students have long faced obstacles to bar admission. Currently, only 5% of U.S. lawyers are Black. The civil and racial unrest resulting in protests across the country have evoked undeniable feelings of fear and despair. In addition, COVID-19 has disproportionate serious or fatal effects on Black people, further contributing to Black graduate angst. Overall, cases in the US have exceeded 2.6 million and the number of deaths has reached 122,000. Students are rightfully scared. Examinees have faced this illness themselves, or in their families and friends. Many know someone who has died from COVID-19. How can graduates possibly be expected to prepare for an exam of this magnitude at a time like this? But in some jurisdictions, graduates have been told the show must go on. Jurisdictions conducting in-person exams are requiring temperature checks and masks for examinees. In Kentucky, examinees have been warned that if they fail the temperature check they will have to wait for the next administration of the exam. I can think of no better incentive for a desperate examinee to conceal symptoms, potentially exposing others to the virus. Examinees will use shared public restrooms and common areas on breaks that create additional exposure to touchpoints. In Philadelphia, lunch breaks will be in bustling public areas near the Convention Center, after which examinees will return for the afternoon session. Some courts have already made the decision to shut down and move in-person hearings to 2021 because there is no vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19; yet these same courts believe it is acceptable to administer an in-person bar exam. In Washington, DC, Maryland, Indiana, and Louisiana, the bar exam will be administered remotely. This option was offered by the National Council of Bar Examiners (“NCBE”) for jurisdictions that believe in-person examination would be impossible. The notion that such an administration could possibly be fair and equitable is preposterous. It assumes, as many policies of the NCBE have always assumed, that the majority of bar examinees are 25-year-olds with no children, with access to sufficient in-home testing environments, and with financial resources necessary to “make it work.” Sadly, this creates another barrier to admission to the profession for those that do not fit this profile. In addition to inadequate testing environments, examinees also face inequitable access to reliable internet—a necessity for exam administration. For example, the internet service provider in my area often conducts unscheduled maintenance without warning. There is no guarantee an interruption will not occur during the exam. It is also unfair to assume all students have internet access beyond their cell phones or have the required robust speeds. This is why law schools still have computer labs, even in 2020. But these labs, like the campuses, are still closed as the health crisis continues. Safe, equitable administration of the bar exam via in-person testing is not possible. The US reached its highest number of new cases to date on June 24th. Unfortunately, the number of new cases is still rising. There is no way to limit touchpoint exposure throughout the examination day. There is no way to know if an examinee is already infected by mere temperature checks. There is no equity in an in-person administration during a pandemic that adversely affects some examinees based on race, age, and pre-existing conditions. There is no safe option for the immunocompromised. Masks are not enough and are an added stressor. Bar examinees should not have to face fear for their health and survival, and that of their loved ones to take the bar exam. The continued closure of the courts, the implementation of online trials, and convening of professional conferences via virtual platforms through year-end demonstrate the courts are well aware of the dangers of public settings. Moving forward with in-person bar examinations with knowledge of that danger is unconscionable. Equitable administration of the bar exam via remote testing is not possible. There is no equity of the testing environment if each examinee is taking the bar exam in their own home. There is no equity if some examinees are forced to incur the expense of a hotel room or business incubator space to take the bar exam due to an unsuitable home environment. No equity can be guaranteed as it relates to the reliability of in-home internet, the possibility of power outages due to inclement weather, and other external factors outside of the examinee’s control. It could not be clearer that the administration of the bar exam during a global pandemic with a simultaneous period of civil unrest is irresponsible. Moreover, the NCBE’s rationale that administering the bar exam is essential for the protection of the public is hypocritical. Specifically, the current president of the NCBE was admitted via diploma privilege, but now actively advocates against it. This moment is unprecedented. Lawyers are trained to use skill, logic, justice, and fairness to meet the moment. Diploma privilege is what this moment demands. Vania M. Smith, M.P.A., J.D., is a 2020 graduate of the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where she was the 2019 National Trial Competition (NTC) Champion. Her scholarly interests are Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics. Suggested citation: Vania M. Smith, Diploma Privilege: What This Moment Demands, JURIST – Student Commentary, June 26, 2020, https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2020/06/vania-smith-diploma-privilege-racial-economic-inequities/.
2020.06.29 15:06 rusticgorilla[Lost in the Sauce] Barr tried to undermine Michael Cohen's conviction
Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis. The title refers to the second-to-last section, "AG Barr's interference." There was SO MUCH news to cover, I couldn’t fit it all in one post. I’ll do a coronavirus-centric post tomorrow (edit: more likely Wednesday) and maybe a “miscellaneous” post later in the week… Can we put the world on pause for just a day or two, please? Housekeeping:
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More details on the Russia-Taliban story
One American official had told The Times that the intelligence finding that the Russians had offered and paid bounties to Afghan militants and criminals had been briefed at the highest levels of the White House. Another said it was included in the President’s Daily Brief, a written document which draws from spywork… The briefing document is given to the president to read and they serve as the basis for oral briefings to him several times a week.
On Saturday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Trump and Pence never received a briefing on the subject. On Sunday, the ODNI declined to say whether the intel was included in the daily brief. Critically, the ODNI never said the reports weren’t true.
Trump responded to the reports by casting doubt on the bounties and attacks themselves, targeting the media instead for publishing the intel: “Probably just another phony Times hit job, just like their failed Russia Hoax. Who is their ‘source’?” (tweet)
UPDATE: Late last night Trump claimed that American intelligence didn’t find the reports of bounties credible enough to tell him about, tweeting: “Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP. Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad!!!”
U.S. intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan.
Two officials said the information about the bounty hunting was "well-known" among the intel community in Afghanistan, including the CIA's chief of station and other top officials there, like the military commandos hunting the Taliban. The information was distributed in intelligence reports and highlighted in some of them.
The Russain bounties are believed to have resulted in the deaths of several U.S. service members… The intelligence was passed up from the U.S. Special Operations forces based in Afghanistan and led to a restricted high-level White House meeting in late March.
The administration’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, preferred confronting the Russians directly about the matter, while some National Security Council officials in charge of Russia were more dismissive of taking immediate action, the official said.
More problematic nominees and undermining of agencies
In a previously undisclosed conference call last year, a senior Justice Department official rejected key aspects of the Trump White House plan to dismantle the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), saying moves to abolish the crucial, little-known agency were unlawful.Those steps and others to undercut OPM could pave the way for installing political cronies throughout the ranks of the nation’s two million federal civil servants and weaken their protections.
In April 2019, Steve Engel, the head of the Justice Department’s powerful Office of Legal Counsel, told senior administration lawyers that it would be illegal to carry out a White House blueprint to dismember OPM… That legal “opinion,” as the notes call it, was never shared with a House oversight panel that held two subsequent hearings last year on the White House proposal…
Background: “Trump administration plans to dismantle agency overseeing civil service,” CNN, April, 2019
Another aspect of the documents obtained by POGO (above) is the revelation of evidence that White House Advisor James Sherk sought a legal opinion to allow Trump to fire anyone In government… From the earliest days of the administration, officials have sought ways to weaken federal sector unions and reduce the pay, benefits, and workforce protections of federal employees. Many elements of the memo became federal policy nearly unchanged from how Sherk first proposed them. Trump intends to nominate senior Housing and Urban Development appointee John Gibbs to run OPM.Gibbs is a former conservative commentator who sent tweets during the 2016 election pushing a baseless conspiracy theory alleging that Hillary Clinton had engaged in a Satanic ritual known as "spirit cooking." The new Trump-appointed CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Michael Pack, is being sued for the mass firing of top executives and advisory boards of federally funded international broadcasters in what was described as a “Wednesday night massacre.” The lawsuit alleges that Pack violated a clause in federal broadcasting law that protects government-funded news outlets from political interference.
Related: The president’s fiscal 2021 budget would eliminate funding for Stars and Stripes, essentially forcing it to cease operation. The Stripes retains editorial independence and is mandated by Congress to be governed by First Amendment principles. It often publishes content meant to hold the Defense Department accountable.
The White House is intensifying an effort to hire Pentagon personnel with an undisputed allegiance to President Trump at a moment when his relationship with Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper has become strained… White House officials are now redoubling efforts as Trump complains to aides that he has never had a defense secretary who is fully aligned with his foreign policy views and accuses Pentagon officials of trying to undermine him More than 50 advocacy groups are calling on senators to oppose Anthony Tata, President Donald Trump's nominee to be Pentagon policy chief.Tata has been under fire for tweets calling former President Barack Obama "a terrorist leader" and calling Islam "the most oppressive violent religion I know of."
KFile revealed that Tata had called Obama “a manchurian candidate” — i.e., a sleeper agent — for “Hamas & Muslim brotherhood.” In other tweets, Tata accused the Obama administration of “sedition and/or treason” and threatened former CIA director John Brennan: “Might be a good time to pick your poison: firing squad, public hanging, life sentence as prison b*tch, or just suck on your pistol. Your call. #Treason #Sedition #crossfirehurricane #Obamagate.”
Trump said he plans to nominate William Perry Pendley to permanently lead the Bureau of Land Management, which has not had a Senate-confirmed chief since Trump took office. Pendley is an anti-environmental extremist who has pushed for the government to sell off millions of federal acres and called climate science “junk science.” Consumer Product Safety Commission nominee Nancy Beck draws bipartisan oppositionfrom lawmakers over her background in the chemical industry, including relaxing rules on dangerous chemicals linked to serious human health problems. Over 90 scientists are also opposing her nomination.
What is Congress up to?
Three Republican senators - Graham, Cotton, and Blackburn - introduced a bill this week to allow law enforcement access to encrypted digital devices with signed court orders. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden has vociferously spoken out against the bill.
Explainer: “The False Promise of ‘Lawful Access’ to Private Data,” The Wired
The Senate Judiciary Cmte. advanced a measure to give the DOJ IG more power to investigate department lawyers, over the objections of AG Barr. Chairman Lindsey Graham tried to water down the bill by giving Barr the ability to veto investigations by the IG, but the committee voted it down. The legislation is now under McConnell’s control. Senators are pushing U.S. intelligence leaders to publicly testify about global threats before the monthlong August recess,in part to avoid their comments from being politicized during the final stretch of the 2020 campaign. House approves statehood for DC in 232-180 vote, but it is unlikely to get a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.) on D.C. Statehood: "Yes, Wyoming is smaller than Washington by population, but it has three times as many workers in mining, logging and construction, and ten times as many workers in manufacturing. In other words, Wyoming is a well-rounded working-class state… What vital industries would the new state of Washington represent? Lobbying? Bureaucracy? Give me a break. By far, the largest group of workers in the city are bureaucrats & other white-collar professionals.”
Mother Jones: It was a startlingly blunt assertion—that Washingtonians should be entitled to fewer rights because they are simply the wrong kind of people… [DC] still has a higher percentage of Black residents than any state. The contention that places with large non-white populations would be too inept—or would lack the proper values—to govern themselves and others has been used to block statehood and home rule repeatedly in the nation’s history.
Republican Sen. James Risch (Ida.): If DC and Puerto Rico become states, "I will be the last Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee forever because they will pick up four Democratic seats that will never flip over. ... Republicans will never be in the majority in the United States Senate,” he said.
Court cases and rulings
On Thursday, the Trump administration submitted a SCOTUS filing arguing the high court should declare the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) invalid. The administration, in a case brought by Republican AGs, posits that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and therefore “the entire ACA must fall.”
More than 20 million Americans could lose their health coverage and protections for people with preexisting health conditions also would be put at risk if the court agrees with the administration in a case that won’t be heard before the fall.
Op-Ed: Overturning the ACA will make COVID-19 much worse
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the Trump administration does not have the “exact details” of a health care alternative in case they get their way and the Supreme Court wipes out Obamacare… Republicans have had 10 years to come up with a replacement plan and failed to do so. (video)
A three-judge panel of the DC Appeals Court ordered the dismissal of the case against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn,overruling District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. The 2-1 ruling was authored by Trump-appointee Neomi Rao, who has repeatedly handed down opinions benefiting Trump and his aides that rely on highly dubious legal reasoning.
The case could be heard by the full DC Court of Appeals if either Sullivan or any active DC appellate judge requests it.
Further reading: How Michael Flynn’s Defense Team Found Powerful Allies: The lawyer who took on the Flynn case had private calls with President Trump, wrote a secret letter to AG Barr, and months later saw the DOJ drop the case.
District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered Roger Stone to report to prison July 14,denying the two-month delay requested by his lawyers and the DOJ due to the coronavirus. Jackson has also ordered Stone to remain under home confinement until his surrender date.
A day after Jackson’s ruling, Trump retweeted a story about a petition for the president to pardon Stone
A Queens County, N.Y., Surrogate’s Court judge on Thursday rejected a request to bar President Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump, from publishing a tell-all book about the family because the court lacked jurisdiction in the case. Charles Harder, a lawyer for Robert Trump, said he would now file suit in the New York State Supreme Court, which is a lower-level court in the state, in an effort to stop Simon & Schuster from publishing the book on July 28.
Mary is a clinical psychologist and reportedly uses her background to dissect “a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse,” including “the strange and harmful relationship between” her late father and Donald Trump.
A judge has ruled that Rep. Devin Nunes has no right to sue Twitterover statements made by a fake Internet cow, someone parodying his mother, and a Republican strategist.
AG Barr’s interference
Since we had a thread about the hearing on political interference by the AG, I won’t go into details again here. Instead, you can check out this Twitter thread of video highlights and Courthouse News’ summary. Just as the hearing was getting underway, AG Bill Barr agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee for a "general oversight hearing" on July 28,following Chairman Nadler’s threat of a subpoena. It is not clear why Nadler accepted such a long delay, as his subpoena was for testimony on July 2. Barr isn’t busy, he was just on Ted Cruz’s podcast. Some House Democrats are pushing to impeach Barr, by Speaker Pelosi stands in their way. Rep. Steve Cohen plans to file a resolution calling for an investigation into whether Barr has committed impeachable conduct. Chairman Nadler has stated his openness to impeaching Barr, as well.
Pelosi: “Barr is a mess who’s disgraced the Department of Justice,” she said. “He is contemptible, there’s no question about that. But at this point, let’s solve our problems by going to the polls and voting on Election Day.” (video)
Op-Ed by Asha Rangappa: "Put another way, Barr has the potential to inflict more damage on the U.S. than even the president because he can use the levers of justice to stonewall investigations, bury evidence, and provide a veneer of legality to illegal acts."
One day later, the New York Times reported that Barr tried to pressure SDNY to undermine the part of Michael Cohen’s conviction that implicated the President in financial crimes. He went so far as to instruct Justice Department officials to draft a legal memo casting doubt on the legitimacy of Cohen’s conviction.
Former DOJ spokesman Matthew Miller: “Why would Barr attack the legal theory underpinning the conviction of someone who had already turned on Trump? Because that same theory would’ve been crucial to charging Trump, his business, and one of his top execs.”
Reminder from a 2018 article: Trump pushed then-acting-AG Whitaker on why more wasn’t being done to control the SDNY prosecutors who brought the case against Cohen. The president of the United States, in that moment, was essentially pressuring an acting official whose job hangs on his personal whims to shut down an investigation into himself.
Jay Clayton, Trump’s nominee to take over the Manhattan federal prosecutor’s office after the abrupt dismissal of SDNY U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, refused to say whether he would recuse himselffrom pending investigations involving Trump’s interests and associates if confirmed for the post. Clayton also admitted to playing golf with Trump numerous times, including the day that they agreed he’d be nominated to Berman’s position…Video of the questioning below:
Rep. Katie Porter: Do you think independence from the President is possible if you and the President are golfing buddies? Clayton: I absolutely do. Later, Porter: How many times have you and President Trump golfed together? Clayton: I'm not going to get into— This is, you know, it's...
The Census Bureau said on Tuesday that it had created two new top-level positions and filled them with political appointees from outside the agency, an unprecedented move that revived concerns the national population count has turned increasingly partisan. Critics fear the appointments are another way for Republicans to bend census results to advance their electoral interests. The Federal Election Commission is losing its short-lived quorum after Caroline Hunter, a longtime Republican commissioner of the FEC and former chair of the agency, is resigning… Her departure from the agency means that the FEC will be unable to make major enforcement actions. Seven years ago from last Thursday, the Supreme Court gutted the most powerful provision in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, undermining a law regarded as the most effective piece of civil rights legislation in American history. A bill passed by House to restore the VRA has been sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk for over 200 days.
States that previously had to approve voting changes under Voting Rights Act have closed 1,688 polling places since SCOTUS gutted the law (count as of last Fall): 750 in Texas, 320 in Arizona, 214 in Georgia, 126 in Louisiana, 96 in Mississippi, and 72 in Alabama.
John Roberts has been trying to weaken Voting Rights Act since he was young lawyer in the Reagan Justice Department. “Violations of [VRA] should not be made too easy to prove" he wrote in 1981.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to push legislation through the Senate that would promote mail-in voting and expand early voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been a real desire at the federal level to take over the elections process, I don’t think that’s a good idea, and if it was a good idea, it wouldn’t be a good idea six months before the election,” Blunt said. Despite a surge of absentee voting, consolidating polling locations in the city of Milwaukee reduced turnout by nearly 9 percentage points, disproportionately affecting Black voters. Using the pandemic for reasoning, the number of polling places in Milwaukee City were cut from 182 in 2016 to just five for this year’s primary. In the rest of Wisconsin, the number of polling places dropped by 11 percent. More articles:
Barr claims voting by mail will lead to fraud, 'counterfeiting.' Admits he has zero evidence.
The simple reason Trump’s imagined flood of foreign mail-in ballots wouldn’t actually work
Michigan launched a pilot program that issues inmates new IDs and registers them to vote as they are released from prison.
Lawsuits aim to ease rules limiting Wisconsin college voters
Republicans controlling a Georgia House committee approved legislation Wednesday that would prevent election officials from proactively sending mail ballot request forms to voters ahead of an election.
Montana commissioner determined that the Montana Republican Party and two minor party qualification committees violated state campaign finance laws in a successful effort to qualify the Green Party of Montana for the primary ballot.
Here are a bunch of random and very disjointed notes I took from the BB20 zoom reunion for anyone interested:
the guy from the charity said the BB20 reunion has been by far their biggest ticket seller raising over $6,000 for Give Kids the World
Fessy is sick and didn’t make it
They talked a lot about how hard it was coming off the show. They lost friends. They talk about how all they wanted to do was hang out with each other after the show instead of other people, how they still were in game mode for so long not trusting other people, how no one outside understands what they went through. Kaycee said she was very scared to leave her house alone for a long time. Tyler and Angela talk about how nice it was to have each other during that hard time. Haleigh agreed about her relationship with Fessy.
Tommy: Brett, the edit really painted you and Rockstar to be against each other.
Brett (deadpan): Yeah it’s crazy how the edit does that.
They ragged on Winston a bit for Love Island. He didn’t seem like he wanted to talk about it too much. He said it was very chill and that it rained constantly.
Brett talked about how annoying it was never knowing when to eat a meal on comp days bc you never knew what time the comps would start. He drank a huge protein drink before the Pie in Sky spinning comp and felt so sick.
They talked about the funniest thing their season was Tyler’s reaction to his straight hair. Angela and Haleigh are still bitter they weren’t allowed to see the reaction.
JC says he talked to Sam. She is engaged (later he did not confirm engagement - possibly just a serious relationship). She bought a horse and is happy and trying to stay out of the public eye.
They laughed about how Sam treated JC as her child during the house. Cutting his toenails, rocking him, feeding him. Also she was always cleaning and put the backs of cereal boxes in the bathroom for them to read. They also remembered her pet spider (named Charlene after Tyler’s mom)
Haleigh: can we talk about how I am the only person not here for any of these Level 6 memories? (She also said her side did not know there was a solid alliance on the other side)
Haleigh said she really didn’t know what was going on with the other side during the show Tommy: that’s not what the edit showed (!!!)
Brett hit the nail on the head saying that Haleigh was everywhere in the DR with her thoughts and that production would take the good stuff she said for the edit to make it look like she knew everything going on (Brett said he was like this as well in the DR, he wasn’t hating on Haleigh)
Angela’s cookbook should be out end of July
Rachel moved to LA and is working on a tribute act for legends (I don’t know what that means)
Brett went back to work at the same cyber security place he was working at before BB. He says he’s also tiktok famous.
Winston is still single and says he’s on all the dating apps.
Tyler says he hated living in LA (they have moved to Hilton Head)
Rachel is currently in Louisiana with her boyfriend (named Elvis I think?) and has been there since March when corona hit.
Haleigh graduated in August and said she’s starting a business (said it is a surprise). She said Angela has been helping her through the business process.
Tip for casting: Brett says be able to tell a good concise story bc so much of the show is DR storytelling.
Tommy asked everyone their high and low from season of BB:
Angela: high was just laughing with the others all the time and the dynamic between all of them. Brett agreed just laughing all the time at random stuff like running laps in the backyard with Tyler making up stories for every lap number they were on
Rachel high moment was when she farted and literally cleared the blue room. She said she didn’t know she did it. Brett: who doesn’t know something like that?!
Winston says a low moment was being on slop and it messing their stomachs up. He said they had a spot in the house where they’d go to fart and it always smelled terrible
KC said her low moment was when the Pie in the Sky comp messed up her equilibrium for days afterward.
Brett says his ultimate low was right after Winston got evicted and everyone on his side of the house had to pretend they voted for him to leave so they couldn’t hang out with him. He felt like he had the plague. And then Rockstar started banging the pots and pans.
Rachel says low was her eviction week and how her talk with Bayleigh ruined her game. She came out of the talk so paranoid. Her high was being a part of Level 6.
Haleigh’s low was her last week in the house knowing her eviction was coming and knowing she could do nothing to stop it. She said everyone was nice to her but she felt isolated anyway knowing she was the next to go.
They laugh about how every time Brett was on the block Haleigh promised she would vote for him to stay and she never did once.
Tyler’s low was during final three missing Angela and how they never got called to the DR anymore the last week so there was nowhere to go and vent like they were used to doing (so that’s why he went to the geometry room to talk to himself) Brett agreed that the geometry room was a low place to be for anyone by themselves in the middle of the night.
Angela says she only remembers the super highs when she looks back now and not the lows anymore.
Winston and Rachel talk about the low of realizing after their evictions that there was no buyback and they were really going back home
they talk about how super easy it is to talk shit while in the house about previous houseguests and the people they vote out because that’s literally the only people they have in common to talk about at all
Brett loved going to the DR. Most everyone else says they didn’t like it.
the first wake up song the very first morning of their season was Tiny Dancer
they talk about how bad Steve’s snoring was and laugh about how Angela would throw pillows at him
A fan says her favorite part was Brett and Rockstars fight. Brett: I’m glad you liked it bc I fucking hated it.
A fan asked Haleigh where she’s going to grad school but she doesn’t want to say yet bc of all the Internet trolls, but she says it’s not in Texas or the South.
2020.05.31 00:47 xScreamin4VengeancexWho/how to choose! Love triangle woes. No judgment please.
Here is my throwaway account confession, word barf post. All I want to know is who is the better option for me regarding two guys. I got myself into a rather ugly mess and I am aware of how horrible of a person I am and have been. Two years ago I met a guy on tinder. At this point in my life I was talking casually to some other internet guy. Tinder guy we will call guy B (30 years) internet guy we will call guy A (31 years) Guy A and I just messaged each other, flirted but never met. I am 20. So Guy B and I go on a date and I have an amazing time. Instant attraction. He’s a mechanic and working on his pilot license. Ex military, was married before but divorced finding out his wife was cheating on him while he was deployed. Because of this he had commitment issues. We go on a few other dates. He is a bit more right winged than my dad is politically so my dad was a bit meh about him. Guy B doesn’t come to my graduation or grad party because he didn’t want to meet my family and deal with people. I remember him telling me he’s not much of a people person. As I prepared for the next steps of my career path and he became a pilot over the summer of 2018 (May), he broke up with me. Did not want to deal with long distance. Also broke up with me when I asked him if he was my boyfriend. So I cried and cried. At this point I had my first love, first sexual experience, first everything! I was heartbroken because I felt that we had a connection and I thought he did too because he had told me he could see himself with me for a very long time. So I focus on my goals and talk to Guy A more. He knew about Guy B but was happy that I had found my calling with Guy A. Guy A just moved to Texas for work (works for an airline) and I lived in FL. I finally got to meet Guy A in late August of 2018. Sparks immediately! We continue to date and have fun while being long distance. I was working on a degree so Guy A wanted me to finish before we moved together. Sometime in the fall, Guy B messages me to see how I’m doing. We casually talk and agree to be friends. Oh how I was wrong. Into 2019 me and Guy A are dating. He meets my family and they love him. Guy B and I keep talking and hang out as friends. Until not. Guy B and I kiss and uh oh here comes all the sparks. I never assumed we were anything more than friends. He tells me he feels that we are. Here is where I mess up: I foolishly allow this behavior because I was struggling with the long distance (also knew Guy A had sex with a girl right before we became official) and wanted to be with someone. I tell myself that Guy B doesn’t even want a long term future so why not give in to what I need right now. Guy B had always told me he didn’t want kids or a marriage. (Things I want). So this goes on for awhile, and I get caught. My boyfriend is enraged but understands. He knows the distance and my young age has a lot to do with my mistakes. So I cut it off with Guy B and focus on Guy A. I’m happy, I’m in love. We have a planned future. I graduate in April 2020 and I move to Texas to move in with my man. All feels right until Guy B messages me. He tells me he is in Louisiana for work and it kills him that he’s 3 hours away from me and can’t see me. He says he’s in love with me. He says he will always love me. He says that he would go to the moon and back for me and has thought about it and realizes now he wants kids with ME. He says I am his soulmate. He says he has been sick throwing up from sadness. Crying on the job. He says he thought about contacting my mom to just talk to her. All of this melts my heart because it was truly what I wanted to hear from the beginning. But now I am confused. I thought this life I wanted with Guy A is what I always wanted. He’s stable. He’s got his own house. He wants a future. He wants me. He supports me. Now Guy B, my first love, the guy I wanted first but left because I thought he was unstable and came with emotional baggage, wants me. I’m lost. I need advice. What do I do? How do I know I make the right choice? Who do you think is better? Am I a complete nutcase or garbage person? Why am I questioning me being here in Texas with a man I love, why do I even care what Guy B fees about me? I could totally use a stranger’s shoulder to cry on. I know I’m the end someone will be hurt. I hate that I am going to be a heartbreaker and crushing someone’s feelings like this. Thanks ahead of time. TL;DR Recently moved in with a guy I’ve been talking to for a few years (long distance) after being dumped with another guy I met in person first. This other guy ended up being the “other guy” while I used him to cheat on my long distance bf due to loneliness. LD Bf found out and forgave me and I moved on but now the other guy is back and turns out he is in love with me and wants a future with me when previously he did not want that which is why I had moved on. Now I am questioning who I really want. How do I know I made the right decision? How do I even make a decision? Any advice helps!
2020.05.31 00:31 xScreamin4VengeancexWho/How to choose? Love triangle woes. No judgement please!
Here is my throwaway account confession, word barf post. All I want to know is who is the better option for me regarding two guys. I got myself into a rather ugly mess and I am aware of how horrible of a person I am and have been. Two years ago I met a guy on tinder. At this point in my life I was talking casually to some other internet guy. Tinder guy we will call guy B (30 years) internet guy we will call guy A (31 years) Guy A and I just messaged each other, flirted but never met. I am 20. So Guy B and I go on a date and I have an amazing time. Instant attraction. He’s a mechanic and working on his pilot license. Ex military, was married before but divorced finding out his wife was cheating on him while he was deployed. Because of this he had commitment issues. We go on a few other dates. He is a bit more right winged than my dad is politically so my dad was a bit meh about him. Guy B doesn’t come to my graduation or grad party because he didn’t want to meet my family and deal with people. I remember him telling me he’s not much of a people person. As I prepared for the next steps of my career path and he became a pilot over the summer of 2018 (May), he broke up with me. Did not want to deal with long distance. Also broke up with me when I asked him if he was my boyfriend. So I cried and cried. At this point I had my first love, first sexual experience, first everything! I was heartbroken because I felt that we had a connection and I thought he did too because he had told me he could see himself with me for a very long time. So I focus on my goals and talk to Guy A more. He knew about Guy B but was happy that I had found my calling with Guy A. Guy A just moved to Texas for work (works for an airline) and I lived in FL. I finally got to meet Guy A in late August of 2018. Sparks immediately! We continue to date and have fun while being long distance. I was working on a degree so Guy A wanted me to finish before we moved together. Sometime in the fall, Guy B messages me to see how I’m doing. We casually talk and agree to be friends. Oh how I was wrong. Into 2019 me and Guy A are dating. He meets my family and they love him. Guy B and I keep talking and hang out as friends. Until not. Guy B and I kiss and uh oh here comes all the sparks. I never assumed we were anything more than friends. He tells me he feels that we are. Here is where I mess up: I foolishly allow this behavior because I was struggling with the long distance (also knew Guy A had sex with a girl right before we became official) and wanted to be with someone. I tell myself that Guy B doesn’t even want a long term future so why not give in to what I need right now. Guy B had always told me he didn’t want kids or a marriage. (Things I want). So this goes on for awhile, and I get caught. My boyfriend is enraged but understands. He knows the distance and my young age has a lot to do with my mistakes. So I cut it off with Guy B and focus on Guy A. I’m happy, I’m in love. We have a planned future. I graduate in April 2020 and I move to Texas to move in with my man. All feels right until Guy B messages me. He tells me he is in Louisiana for work and it kills him that he’s 3 hours away from me and can’t see me. He says he’s in love with me. He says he will always love me. He says that he would go to the moon and back for me and has thought about it and realizes now he wants kids with ME. He says I am his soulmate. He says he has been sick throwing up from sadness. Crying on the job. He says he thought about contacting my mom to just talk to her. All of this melts my heart because it was truly what I wanted to hear from the beginning. But now I am confused. I thought this life I wanted with Guy A is what I always wanted. He’s stable. He’s got his own house. He wants a future. He wants me. He supports me. Now Guy B, my first love, the guy I wanted first but left because I thought he was unstable and came with emotional baggage, wants me. I’m lost. I need advice. What do I do? How do I know I make the right choice? Who do you think is better? Am I a complete nutcase or garbage person? Why am I questioning me being here in Texas with a man I love, why do I even care what Guy B fees about me? I could totally use a stranger’s shoulder to cry on. I know I’m the end someone will be hurt. I hate that I am going to be a heartbreaker and crushing someone’s feelings like this. Thanks ahead of time. TL;DR Recently moved in with a guy I’ve been talking to for a few years (long distance) after being dumped with another guy I met in person first. This other guy ended up being the “other guy” while I used him to cheat on my long distance bf due to loneliness. LD Bf found out and forgave me and I moved on but now the other guy is back and turns out he is in love with me and wants a future with me when previously he did not want that which is why I had moved on. Now I am questioning who I really want. How do I know I made the right decision?
2020.05.12 23:53 RupindahI’m 24, and I make 15.23 in Edmonton, Alberta
I hope this isn’t overstepping but the mods are a little MIA - I hope they’re well - so I decided to just post my diary. This is from mid April. Income: $15.23/hr - hell yeah, got a raise. COVID-19 Situation: My store closed. I am on catastrophe pay, so my average hours paid out. I have been home since March 10. Monthly Expenses: Rent: $0 (explained in my last diary - my spouse owns the house) Utilities: see above Loans: I am forbearance for my student loans which total ~$20,000. I moved out before my degree was done so paid the rest. Credit Card Debt: I pay $80.86 out of every paycheck to my lowest interest VISA, which has $600 left. I pay the minimum on one with $900 left. Phone Bill: $58.21 New York Times: $14.28 Spotify: $4.99 Headspace: $0 - a Starbucks perk Health + Dental Insurance: $33/per paycheck, for both S and I Car Insurance: $197.41. Thanks, UPC! They lifted the caps on how much your insurance can be raised and mine is now $27 more a month. Savings: I touch on it in my diary but I recently got into YNAB so I distribute throughout my savings in various ways. For example, I have $40 saved for our anniversary this summer, and $670 in an emergency fund. Every dollar has a job. I am off the credit card float, too, which is very exciting. Every purchase I make this week I have cash for! Day 1: 8:15 AM: My kitty Z is screaming which is unusual as her brother is the one who wakes us up. I go investigate and he’s completely asleep on the heated bed contraption my spouse S set up. For once I wake HIM up for breakfast. 8:40: We are going grocery shopping today so I wait for S to get ready. (This was before the 1 shopper per household rule went into effect. Only I go now!) 9:00: At the grocery store. We mask up and wipe down our cart and head in. We get a whole host of stuff: produce, meat, dry goods, dairy - all the goodies. Some stuff we have to get at our local co-op. My goal is to not shop for at least ten days, two weeks if we can stretch it. My half is 66.59. 10:00: We stop by the Starbucks so I can get my coffee mark out. I choose espresso beans because S dug out his mom’s old espresso machine to learn how to make lattes. He’s been using my blonde espresso but it gives him the shakes. The espresso is free as we get one bag a week. 10:15: At the local co-op we get strawberries, chicken, chips, and cereal. Normally we wouldn’t do two stores but our co-op has some really good deals and too many to price match (I don’t wanna be that person.) My half is $16.27. 10:30: Home and unload the groceries. I get frustrated with the state of our pantry and reorganize it. I find 10 hot and spicy taco seasoning packets which is good because last month we got 100 corn tortillas (for $5!) from the Latin food market and have yet to get through even a third. 11:00: Coffee. S makes an oat milk latte. I have my regular blonde roast. Cats go to bed. 12:00: I eat a KD cup. 6:00: dinner is spicy caramelized pork and rice. I eat two cookies after. I have the supplies to make a lemon meringue pie but haven’t got around to it. 10:30: I fall asleep listening to the Winter Park sleepcast on Headspace. (A Starbucks perk) Total Spend: $82.86 Day 2: 8:05: Z is racing around the room screaming. We ignore her. She goes screaming down the stairs and returns with a very sleepy brother. He has bed head. Cat bed head is the cutest thing in the world. 8:25: They are fed breakfast and I sit on the couch waking up. I make my coffee. S goes to work. He’s actually part of the COVID response - not frontline - so he has to go to work. 10:00: My boss messages the group chat. Turns out I’m eligible for a $500 grant from Starbucks for any economic hardship I’ve faced in light of COVID-19 so I apply for that. 11:30: surfing the web for some decent sweats and/or joggers but can’t find any. Wish I could go to the thrift store. Make a cart on aerie and see the $70 total for three items. Click out. $70 is my half of the groceries. Not worth it for just two pairs of pants and a bra. 12:30: Feeling really off today. Craving a burger. I think it’s my anemia rearing it’s head. Text S and discuss the merits of walking to the co-op for burger patties and buns vs driving out to get one burger. I think I would rather buy a pack of ten and eat them for lunches (S can’t have beef) than make some poor minimum wage kid flip burgers for me in a pandemic. 1:30: The co-op has no yeast but I get some stuff they were out of yesterday. It looks like their truck came this morning because the shelves are full. I get Tostitos, Smartfood, and Miss Vickies Applewood Bacon, assorted sour gummy pack (they had to divvy up all their self-serve sour candy and pack it up), frozen spinach, a package of brioche burger buns, and a package of Angus sirloin burgers. S. shops a lot at a gluten free bakery and we split it too so I don’t feel bad about getting mostly snacks for me… My half is 19.49. 1:45: I start my burger and toast my bun. It was exactly what I was craving. I eat it with a pickle and some strawberries because what’s iron intake without some vitamin C? I debate a cookie but I feel full now so instead I wash the pan. I see that my yoga studio charged me $65 even though I cancelled last month and have an email stating no further charges will occur. I forward the email to them asking why. 5:00: I stretch and take a shower. I have to change out my straight razor blade. It’s been a year and I’ve only gone through 20 blades! Last week I did the math and I’ve saved $300 in razors since switching (I’m indian and I have PCOS, so I have lots of body hair.) 6:00: I clean up the kitchen. S returns home from the day with some of his wild work updates. I’m still full from my burger so he makes gluten free pizza for himself. 8:00: Now I am slightly hungry so I have some maggi noodles and two cookies. Chewy chocolate chip, if you care. Also, if you like curry spice, Maggi is so good. 10:00: Say goodnight to the babies and go to bed. Fall asleep listening to the Monsoon Hour sleepcast on Headspace. Day Three: 3:30 AM: wake up uncomfortable. Turns out the cats came to bed. How do two tiny bodies take up so much space? I go pee but can’t fall asleep. 4:30: After restlessly turning I go on my phone. I check my bank account to see my pay cheque deposited a day early because of the holiday weekend! It’s my first full no-shifts-worked check (we’re being paid an average of our hours in the last quarter and I was working close to 40 hrs/week) and it’s $200 more than I was expecting. Yay! 5:00: I put my phone away after “giving every dollar” a job. If anyone is interested, here’s the categories I topped up: Wedding 1, $50. Wedding 2, $62.50. Wedding 3, $44.12. Anniversary, $10. Christmas, $12.50. Oil Changes, $150. Vet Visit, $12.50. Booze, $25. License Renewal, $9.43. YNAB Renewal, $10. RA Fee, $10. Donations, $10. Visa Payment, $80.86. The rest I stick into my emergency fund. I’m close to $1000 in there. 8:30: Get a wake up call from the usual suspects. Normal morning routine of cat breakfast, coffee, cereal, and dishes. 11:00: I change into gym clothes and do a workout from Popsugar. It kills my butt. Z gets in the way the entire time. 12:00: Starbucks has a question for me about the COVID grant so I email them back. My old yoga studio says the charge was an error and reverses it, too. While I am online I check my paystub. My average hours will amount to 65 hours a cheque, which is not bad, considering I am doing nothing. 12:30: Decide not to change yet and clean the bathroom, then clean up the cat’s eating areas and wash their dishes. Then change. 1:00: Settle at my desk for some /brain time./ 3:00: Time for studying. My final exam was supposed to be last week but it got cancelled due to the COVID situation. Now, it will be written online, without a proctor. I am determined to obtain my certificate closed-book so I make index cards to rehearse with. I guess the benefit is that I do not have to pay the $120 proctor fee? 3:30: Starbucks emails me and lets me know I qualify for the grant. I should get the money next week. 5:30: I end up on The Bay’s website, looking at their clearance joggers. I can get four pairs of sweats for $115. My cousin’s wedding I was to attend in June got moved to next year, so I have the money I was saving for that ($120.) I text S and he tells me to go for it as I legitimately only have 1 pair of sweats/joggers. $115.24 6:15: I feed the cats their dinner on their clean dishes. They don’t say thank you. So rude. The dishwasher seems to have some buildup so I run a CLR cycle. 7:45: dinner is ready and eaten. I have some dessert. S FaceTimes with his mom. I say hi. She works in a hospital but luckily isn’t frontline so she gives updates on that. 9:30: We go to bed. I fall asleep listening to Monsoon Hour again. It’s my favourite one. Total Spend: $115.24 Day Four: 8:30: Once again: cats, cereal, coffee, dishes. 10:00: I take out tortillas and turkey for tacos. 11:30: I’m engrossed in some internet drama. 4:00: My friend’s grandma was diagnosed with COVID-19 in NYC, and my friend lives in FL. Her husband’s grandpa was diagnosed in Louisiana, too. I research a gift to send them as they’re both mega stressed. I have $80 in my gift budget. 6:30: Fry tortillas and taco meat while making toppings. 7:00: The cops are at my neighbour’s house. We turn on the scanner but can’t find out why. 8:00: I finally decide to send them candles from Homesick, one from New York, and one from Louisiana. Hoping that if they light it, they’ll feel closer to the families they’re missing. It’s 15% off and free shipping so 50.92 US. The conversion makes it 74.28. Ouch. That’s why I have money in the gift category, though. 9:30: Get buyer’s remorse not due to the cost but because of the conditions of the people working to fulfill the orders. I do some research. The candle company seems to be treating their employees well but I can’t find any info on The Bay’s warehouse. 10:30: S convinces me that I’m fine as I’ve been doing what I can in other areas (adamantly refusing to use Amazon was a hot debate between us for awhile.) I decide to sleep on it. Fall asleep listening to the Rainday Antiques sleepcast. Total Spend: 74.28 Day Five: 8:30: M bit my hand cream during his whine for breakfast and ... why? Usual morning routine. Since I’ve been home I don’t deviate much. 1:00: S wants to BBQ tonight so I have macaroni for lunch so I can have a BBQ’d burger for dinner. 1:30: Take a shower, blast Lemonade by Beyonce. We share walls on both sides of our townhouse but not entirely sure what they can hear. Shower is gross, will have to clean it tomorrow (I don’t like cleaning it right after a shower.) Do some housekeeping on my computer. Research M’s food, and see if it’s a cheaper price at any Canadian based stores, but doesn’t appear to differ much. He has a month’s worth left so I want to buy within two weeks. I keep a running $200 in the cat food budget, because there inevitably comes the time that M’s wet food, dry food, and Z’s dry food all need to be replaced at once. 5:00: Get an email that none of the sweats I ordered were in stock. Ok. Thanks. Guess the decision was made for me. +115.24. 6:30: Learn that my friend’s grandmother and her husband’s grandfather both passed. Think the Homesick candles will be a little too sad so rush to cancel the order. +74.28 7:30: Eat my BBQ burger with S while watching Parks and Rec. 8:30: Eat a bowl of whipped cream with three strawberries in it. Whatever 11:30: Stay up too late watching Parks and Rec and watching our babies snuggle. Bed time. Fall asleep listening to Monsoon Hour again. Daily Total: $0 Day Six: 8:30: My eyes snap open to the realization no one is waking me up? I get up and they’re both sitting on the stairs. I feed them. Usual morning routine. 10:00: I can’t think of what to send my friend. My words don’t feel like enough. S recommends just sending my love for now. 12:30: We FaceTime with S’s sister and her kids. There is a lot of screaming. At one point the eldest commandeers the phone and suddenly we are jumping on the trampoline until the phone is confiscated back. The call ends when the youngest (who is potty training) starts to poop on the floor. And yet, I still miss them. 2:30: S and I do some housework. He does a bunch of gluten free baking after while I send out Vaisakhi messages to my family. (Vaisakhi celebrates the founding of Sikhism.) 5:00: FaceTime date #2. We do all of the classic calendar holidays with his family and can’t be there for Easter this year so everyone sets up their computers to have Easter dinner together. Except it’s way too early for most of us to eat so we just drink and watch the kiddos. They have to mute halfway through to avoid no food being eaten. 7:30: Easter Zoom over. Cooking for our Easter dinner starts now. S is indifferent to major holidays but I thought an Easter dinner would be nice since we’re not visiting anyone. We have BBQd ham with a mustard sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, corn bread, and rye and gingers. Cats want some ham desperately. I give them tiny little pieces. 9:30: We go to bed after watching the city council election episode of Parks and Rec. I fall asleep listening to the Winter Park sleepcast. How did they so accurately capture what a perfect snowy night is like? Daily Total: $0 Day Seven 8:15: I wake up really sad. I’m mourning my opening shifts. I miss brewing all the teas, I miss making my morning espresso, chatting with my regulars, even dumping hot water down the ice bin. Hell, I even miss scrubbing the steam wands. 8:30: once again no one is bothering me? What is up with them lately? Usual morning routine. I have a slight headache. 9:30: Fold and put away one load of laundry. Go to the bathroom to find my period has started. Ah, so that explains my mood swings and fatigue. 11:00: Turn on Spotify and go to town on the shower. I even use a Q tip in the corners. 12:30: It took me an hour and a half because I was really scrubbing. Ugh, glass shower doors. Make myself a burger. 1:20: The cats are sleeping in the sun by the bed. I lay down with them and just close my eyes for some peace. 5:00: The usual brain stuff is done and I take out the Instant Pot to prep for dinner. 6:30: S is home. I’m making caramelized spicy pork with rice. It is so quick in the InstantPot! 8:00: Usual evening routine of Parks and Rec and then bed. Fall asleep listening to Midnight Launderette. Reflections: I really really loved my time at home and appreciate that I got to spend time with my cats and focus on some projects. But I’m glad to be back at work!
2020.05.05 04:50 SakuraNightsWings: Robert Douglas Sparks
November 19, 1972. It was a nice day for flying in McAllen, Texas. Robert Douglas Sparks was preparing for a flight, a man wanted to be taken to the Rio Grande valley to take aerial photos for a couple of hours. Sparks was a former U.S. Air Force missile expert and maintenance officer, who was in the 308th Strategic Missile Wing at Barkdsdal Air Force Base in Louisiana. Sparks also knew how to fly a plane. He taught aerospace science at McAllen High School and gave flight classes, one was supposed to be at 3:30 that afternoon. Nobody knew that the flight would be the last time Sparks was seen alive. His passenger, Lon D. Shaw had chartered a small plane from Upper Valley Aviation in McAllen, and hired Sparks to fly it that day (Doe Network . He gave his address as being from Copperas Cove, TX, but Lon was new to town, he had arrived on the sixteenth. On the 18th, a well dressed Latin man wearing a cowboy hat took Shaw to Reynosa, Mexico, close to the border. On the 19th, the two men, with Shaw’s luggage, took off from the local airport around 1:15 that afternoon. The plane landed and took off again at an airport in Cameron County, TX, north of Brownsville about half an hour later. Here is where the story begins to get confusing. One newspaper, The Brownsville Herald, stated that Shaw had filed an alternate flight plan with federal flight official control giving his destination as Tampico, Mexico, while the original flight plan in McAllen stated otherwise. Another source stated that Sparks had radioed in around 1:50 and changed his flight plan to Tampico, retracting (or confirming in another source) that plan stating he had changed his mind. Sparks is believed to have made the changes under duress, since he had plans to teach later that afternoon, and because Sparks did not have the proper papers to fly into Mexico. The plan had enough fuel to fly 500 miles. Either way, the pair have not heard from since. An investigation was opened. One thing was quickly uncovered: Lon Shaw had previously been hospitalized at the South Florida State Hospital for mental patients in Hollywood, Florida. An investigator called Shaw a “super patriot,” and he was also an electronics expert. On the thirtieth of November, the Tyler Morning Telegraph announced that a plane had been found on a mountainside thirty miles west of Victoria, Mexico. Attempts were trying to be made to access the wreckage with a helicopter, but local authorities did not have a helicopter. A month later, local newspapers printed an update article on the case. Mrs. Sparks offered an $800 reward for anyone who could give information leading to her husband. It didn't mention anything about the plane found on the thirtieth. Robert Douglas Sparks was forty-five at the time he disappeared. He was white, stood at 5’10”, and weighed around 168 pounds. He had brown hair and brown eyes. Sparks had a large scar on his right leg. The plane the two men were in was a 1970 Piper Cherokee 235 that was wine/white colored with gold trim, and had the ID# 8529N (Doe Network has it as N8529N). The ID number was unregistered in 1988. Links/Sources: Robert at Doe Network Robert at Missing VeteransThe FAA showing 8529N as unregistered. El Paso Times (12/16/1972) Tyler Morning Telegraph (11/21/1972, 11/30/1972, 12/16/1972) Brownsville Herald (11/22/1972) Odessa American (12/16/1972) Hey everyone. Sorry that its been a bit, I've been looking into veterans cases to write about and found this case. Really wanted to write about it because it looked really interesting. There was not a lot of information out there on the internet initially, so I signed up for a free trial and went looking for newspaper articles to see if I could find some stuff. My write up is based on several newspaper articles that I found dating back to the year he went missing. Hopefully you all enjoyed my it, let me know what you think or if you have a case you'd like me to look into, let me know. Previous writeups:Gary Lynn MullinaxJeffery Lynn SmithDenise PflumEleanor ParkerJaret Jerome SenegalCarol Lynn RobertsDwayne Martin
2020.04.30 04:27 ulfhedunnI think I solved it.. Two stories in one
About three days ago, I started hearing stories of the Black Eyed Kids for the first time in years I'd heard the stories as a teenager, and everyone has seen the creepy photoshopped images of freaky kids somewhere on the net, but I never paid any mind to them. I thought it was just an urban legend. I'm a bit of an occultist(this is important later), and I went through a phase as a teenager where I studied almost everything paranormal I could get my hands on, but these days, I'm mostly a skeptic where spectacular creature phenomena are concerned. Or, I was until about 3 days ago. Around that time, I was on a drive and I heard a really old podcast about black eyed kids... The original internet post from Abiline, and I almost wrecked my truck. The story was so similar to an experience that I had with my boyfriend back in January... But let me tell you about that first, because it's weird in itself. I was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on a date with my boyfriend. It was actually our first date, despite having met online over a year ago, and being an official couple for four months at that point. We decided to drive down to Baton Rouge for the weekend after the college football national championship, so partying was in full swing from the LSU victory, to party and hang out in general. Our first night there, we decided to see a movie... I think it might have been the 1917 movie.. And we got to the theater about an hour early so we could make sure we got good seats. We got our tickets, and having time to kill, we decided to walk across the street to the Mall of Louisiana and take a quick look around, and window shop for our planned outing the next day. It was kind of late, around 730 or so, so most of the shops were closed, but we decided to go to the Mall anyways, like I said, to window shop, and also to walk around and stretch our legs. We had just crossed the street at the cross walk right there between the theater and the bowling alley/arcade, and it happened. I never saw them walk up, which is odd, because I have a really hyper focused sense of observation. I grew up in a bad environment, and you learn early to take note of everyone and everything, no matter if you think someone is a threat or not. Just in case. Me and my boyfriend, who is younger than me, and also a slim individual, had just made it to the other side of the street when two boys approached us, seemingly out of nowhere. One looked to be about 16 and the other was about 12 or 13. Both of them were caucasian in appearance, the older one having either brown or sandy blonde hair, and the younger one with brown hair. It was just light enough outside still to be able to see that much. My first impression was that their clothes were weird. They looked like the kind of abercrombie or hollister clothes a typical suburban kid would wear... But from the mid 90s, kind of faded almost. The older boy started talking... And it immediately creeped me out. "Do you have a car." He just walked up to me and asked that... But, im a nice guy, and other than the weird feeling that something was off, and despite jt being such an odd question, I decided to answer.... Bear in mind, that at this point, my boyfriend is beside me, and slightly behind to my left, because he was following me and we had been talking. But we had both stopped talking, because of how weird we both felt this situation was... This is really hard for me to type... I'm honestly creeped out and scared at the present moment... But I want to put my whole story out there. I looked at my boyfriend, and he had his head down, and had moved behind me. I'm a bigger guy, because I used to work out heavily before my job took over, and I could tell he was getting behind me because he was scared... And my boyfriend doesn't scare easily. Hes never backed down from a fight, and his headstrong nature has gotten him into trouble before. But now he was hiding behind me, and when he saw me looking at him, he raised his head, and shook his head NO, before putting his head back down. He also wasn't on his phone, which was weird because he had just been in the middle of a lively snapchat convo moments earlier, that being his preferred social media app. I looked back at the boys, and neither of them had moved. I don't know why I said it, because my first instinct was to lie and get my boyfriend away from there, but I told him "well, not really, I mean... I have a rental, im parked over there." I pointed to the movie theater parking lot. "Can you give us a ride?" Despite the complete sense of uneasiness I had, and the extremely strong sense that they did not need to be anywhere near my car... I was curious. I've been a youth pastor and youth addiction counselor in the past, so when I see a kid in need, my first instinct is always to try and figure out what's going on and how to help. "Where do you need to go?" "We came to the mall, but we need to get back to our house. Its not far from here. Our parents will be mad if we don't get back." "Well... Why don't you call them? Maybe they can give you a ride." I was headset against giving them a ride... Despite their average appearance, I kept getting imagess of maniacal smiles andy throat being slit from behind in the back of my mind. "We don't have phones." I have a habit of scanning my surroundings, and I looked up just then, to see if the other people milling around were trying to get past us on the sidewalk, or looking at this strange conversation of young men in the middle of a busy thouroughfare, but just as I looked up, I heard the younger one say "They're not paying attention." Heard him say. I never saw him speak, despite having stand not three feet from me, and his face being very much in my field of vision. I also thought he was speaking to his "brother". His brother looked at him, and I heard "They can help us." The younger one looked back at him "They can see us." I thought this was odd, but I was more concerned with finding a polite end to this conversation, and seeing these boys on their way safely. "I really would help you, but there's all kinds of stuff in my back seat... and we have to see a movie soon." "It won't take long. It's not far." The older one had spoken, and turned to face me again. I barely managed to notice that the rest of the small crowd at the mall looked kind of washed out, almost not there, really, when I saw his eyes for the first time. They were the palest shade of green. Yes, odd for a BEK story, but bear with me. His eyes, though I could see them, were kind of ethereal... Almost not really there. Almost transparent. Like ghost eyes. They had bits of yellow in them. Maybe they turned blue... I'm not sure... They were hypnotizing though. I noticed fear in his eyes... Not "I'm about to die" fear, but "I need serious help" fear. The fear a kidnap victim might feel. Or a lost kid. He looked at the younger boy again. "Yeah, he can see us". " ask him for help. He can help us" I was sketched out by now, and I just wanted to leave. "I can't give you a ride... But you said its not far... Can you walk? Or can I let you use my phone to call your parents" "They're not at home, they're still at work... Its too far to walk. Its a couple of miles." I was desperate to get away by now. The sense of urgency to help was getting too strong, and I didn't like it, because everytime I thought about helping, I got a stronger sense that I was going to be murdered. I just knew, that If I survived the trip there, I would be invited in, and I wouldn't be able to refuse, and their parents would be inside, and it would be bad. My boyfriend wasn't even a thought then... Except that he was so close behind me that I could feel his presence... We had to go. "I can maybe give you a couple kf bucks for bus fare?" There was a bus stop right there... "We just moved here. We don't know the bus stops. We just need a ride" "Where are you from" "Far away" "Look, I wish I could help, but we've got to go." And with that, I started to walk away, and made sure my boyfriend was with me. We left that spot in a hurry. I turned around about five seconds later to look at the two weirdos, and they were gone. My boyfriend was pissed. "I can't believe you did that!" "Did what?" "Talked to them!" "What? They needed help." "They were fucked up." "What, you mean high? Their pupils weren't dilated..." "No, they didn't HAVE pupils. They were fucked up." "I didn't see anything..." "I can't believe you didn't see anything. I'm telling you, they were fucked up. That's why I didn't say anything. And I'm not crazy. I know what I saw." I believed him, kind of. I thought he meant drugs. I joked with him about it for a few moments, honestly not seeing anything amiss except for their weird attitude and the insistence of getting in my car, but he got even more upset. "Just. Stop. Talking about about it. I'm done. I'm not crazy." And so I dropped it. Until three days ago, when I heard a story about BEKs on an old podcast show I had recently discovered.... I called up my boyfriend to ask him... Those guys at the mall back in January... Did they have black eyes? "Yeah". Was all he would say. He was still too scared to talk about it. But looking back... I remember that weekend. It was bad. Me and my boyfriend argued about trivial stuff... We almost broke up. He developed a nosebleed that night. After he went to bed, I almost went crazy. I drove across town, full of unexplainable angst, and stopped at one of the riverboat casinos - the Belle of Baton Rouge. Out on the promenade... I had this strong urge to throw myself in the Mississippi and drown myself.... It was raining, and the water looked rough. I knew I wouldn't survive... But somehow, I held back against the unexplainable urge. In the weeks that followed, he had a near nervous collapse. I was having issues at work that almost cost me my job. We almost broke up again. I had a psychic help me do a cleansing... And things, which had slowly been spiralling into an abyss, especially with virus related layoffs, started improving. Now, I mentioned that I was into the occult (I'm a pagan). Well, yesterday I was talking to a which friend of mine who has a lot of lore knowledge and experience dealing with the paranormal. A lot more than me at least. I told her my story, and she wasn't the least bit surprised. " Yeah", she told me "they're the spirits of kids who were horribly abused in life." I thought about it.... And considered the Scandinavian Mylings... Children with black eyes, come back for revenge on the living.. Killed at a young age, and denied a proper burial. Then I thought about another BEK story... Where the parents of the kids actually DID arrive, after a lady invited them in. Which brings me to the second story I was staying with some friends of mine once... And this was actually about the same time that I first met my boyfriend online. Anyways... They were a couple, and we... Were all close. Ill just leave it at that. They had a son, whom ill call "robbie". Not his real name. Anyways, robbie was the coolest kid ever. He was seven, got good grades at school, and was fiercely independent. Knew how to cook a little bit, did chores, liked to chop firewood, and was known to steal alcohol on occasion. Then he had a side of his personality where all he wanted to do was snuggle up to either me or his mom on the couch and watch a cartoon and fall asleep on the days where it raining and he didnt have school. (Mom worked weekends, and I didnt, and dad wasnt the affectionate type. and like I said, we were all close. He called me " uncle") Anyways, he was a sweet but tough kid. Well, one time he started having nightmares and sleepwalking... Which is typical seven year old kid stuff. No big deal. I dont remember the nightmares, because they were eclipsed by something else... The spirit. We would all go to another friend's house for the day and come back... And the front door would be open. At first, we thought the two puppies did it. They were six month old black labs and could be rambunctious. So we put the dogs outside when we left... And the door would be open when we got back. We called the police eventually after about a week of it, and they set a patrol for the area. The door started staying shut... But the inside doors would all be reversed. Doors that were closed would be opened and vice versa. We were getting freaked out. A couple of times mom would swear she heard someone on the porch outside here bedroom window (we were in a doublewide trailer with a porch that ran the length of the whole thing). Once, i thought I saw a small figure run past the living room window, but didnt hear footprints... And there werent any prints in the sand or grass around the porch... We all looked. This all came to a head the night that, asleep on the couch, I bolted awake when the dogs growled. The dogs NEVER growled. They were too scared to chase a frog. Innocent little puppies. The growling set me on edge, and I woke up... Alarmed... And there was a dark man shape trying to get through the front door. The dogs ran from the kitchen and tried to attack it. Im a brave guy. Ive run into burning buildings. Jumped into a snake infested creek to grab a kid who couldnt swim. But this.... I screamed. The whole house came running. At first, they didnt believe me (the figure disappeared). They thought the dogs were play fighting and just happenned to hit the door. But the door was locked. Every night. And I pointed that out. Suddenly, we knew we had a situation. We were all pagans to an extent, so we tried everything. Sage. Salt. Rituals. Sigils. And still, strange happenings. The kids sleep walking was getting worse. I remember the dreams now... Omfl. "I dont want to go with them. They want me to go, but I dont want to." We thought it was a joke (at first) and told him "well hell kid, dont go. Tell them to go away." And then, excitedly, a while later, he said "I told them to go, and to leave me alone and I kicked their butts, and they left!" "Robbie, who tf are you talking about?" "The other kids." Right after he "kicked their butts", the stuff started happening with the doors. Flash back forward. We know we have a haunting, and none of the usual stuff is working. I decide to go all in. Im going to trance out, Edgar Cayce style, and see if I can maybe contact "the other side." It worked. There was a lady there. She had a message for me. "I know you think this kind of stuff is a joke, but you need to know that it isnt. Robbie in in danger. He was raped as a toddler by his grandfather, and now his grandfather's spirit has come back to destroy his soul. He will turn the boy into a monster. You are all in danger if he succeeds" I woke up.... People were watching me (the mom and dad). I didnt want to soud weird... So I asked... "Kat" (her, but not her real name) "Was robbie.... Molested as a child?" Her eyes got huge... Dad, who was really 'stepdad" looked at her, confused... "Well.. People used to tell me that my mom would abuse him... But I thought they were talking shit... I caught her with her hand down his diaper one day, though, and flipped out. But I never told anyone." Step dad looks at Kat "Is that why your mom isnt allowed to babysit him?" The situation had actually been a point of bother and inconvenience and source of several arguments between them in the last few months, when their work schedules had collided horribly. Kat grimaced. "Yes". But... It still didnt make sense... Because my vision said " grandfather" specifically... Unless... "Kat... Did your mom ever claim that her own father molested her?" Her eyes almost popped out of her head when I asked... "Yes! But..." "Did he ever babysit robbie before he died?" (I knew her grandfather was dead - her mother and her son were her only living relatives). "No! He died before he was born!" Still not making sense... But one more question... "Did your mom ever claim that her father raped her?" Kat was practically crying. These were FAMILY SECRETS, buried for years, coming from the mouth of someone who certainly never had them told to him. "Yes... But what does any of this have to do with the haunting?" "The Spirit in my dream last night told me that robbie was molested as a baby by his grandfather and that his grandfather's spirit was trying to corrupt Robby's soul and turn him into a monster. If we go off of that victimized children repeat the cycle by victimizing other children as adults, then, in a sense, since your grandfather possibly molested your mom, and she likely did the same to him, then, in a sense, since he started the cycle, he was the one who technically molested your son... His sin passed on to him" She was freaking out, full blown panic attack, and the stepdad wasnt far behind. They both stood up, alarmed. "So what do we do?!!" " we have to banish the old man's spirit, and protect your son's. End the cycle." Which we did. With a series of specific pagan rituals. But thats my theory... The BEKs were abused in real life... And then their souls were taken captive by the spirits of their tormenters.. To pass on torment to others. To feed off of happiness and replace it with pain and misery If the Scandinavian tales are anything to go off of, and my own experience... Im not going to say invite them in... But perhaps a banishing ritual and warding charm could go a long way to preventing further harm... In mundane terms I think those kids are already eternal slaves... But we should try to prevent harm in our own communities... Watching out for abused kids... Keeping harmful folks away from kids... Taking certain nightmares and experiences seriously and preventing what comes next... I think of all the mysteriously vanished people and kids who never turn up again... And I wonder.
For planning purposes only! I don’t know how official these dates are as of now, they could be subject to further change. Please take all instruction from your RTI, don’t say some guy on the internet told you so. From what was put out PH1 will report early Aug. PH3 will report Mid SEPT. Like always, you should probably just come to Louisiana, we can probably get you the branch you want. Best of luck.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country consisting of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.[g] At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million km2), it is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area[c]. Most of the country is located in central North America between Canada and Mexico. With an estimated population of over 328 million, the U.S. is the third most populous country in the world. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies led to the American Revolutionary War lasting between 1775 and 1783, leading to independence. The United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century—gradually acquiring new territories, displacing Native Americans, and admitting new states—until 1848 when it spanned the continent. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the abolition of slavery in the United States. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power. The United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower. It was the first country to develop nuclear weapons and is the only country to have used them in warfare. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. The end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is a federal republic and a representative democracy. It is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States (OAS), NATO, and other international organizations. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. A highly developed country, the United States is the world's largest economy by nominal GDP, the second-largest by purchasing power parity, and accounts for approximately a quarter of global GDP. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second-largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is 4% of the world total, it holds 29.4% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank very high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, median income, median wealth, human development, per capita GDP, and worker productivity. It is the foremost military power in the world, making up more than a third of global military spending, and is a leading political, cultural, and scientific force internationally. Contents 1 Etymology 2 History 2.1 Indigenous peoples and pre-Columbian history 2.2 Effects on and interaction with native populations 2.3 European settlements 2.4 Independence and expansion (1776–1865) 2.5 Civil War and Reconstruction era 2.6 Further immigration, expansion, and industrialization 2.7 World War I, Great Depression, and World War II 2.8 Cold War and civil rights era 2.9 Contemporary history 3 Geography, climate, and environment 3.1 Wildlife 4 Demographics 4.1 Population 4.1.1 Major population areas 4.2 Language 4.3 Religion 4.4 Family structure 4.5 Health 4.6 Education 4.6.1 Higher education 5 Government and politics 5.1 Political divisions 5.2 Parties and elections 5.3 Foreign relations 5.4 Government finance 5.5 Military 6 Law enforcement and crime 7 Economy 7.1 Science and technology 7.2 Income, poverty and wealth 8 Infrastructure 8.1 Transportation 8.2 Energy 8.3 Water supply and sanitation 9 Culture 9.1 Food 9.2 Literature, philosophy, and visual art 9.3 Music 9.4 Cinema 9.5 Sports 9.6 Mass media 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links Etymology See also: Naming of the Americas, Names for United States citizens, and American (word) The first known use of the name "America" dates back to 1507, when it appeared on a world map created by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller. The name on the map applied to the lands of South America, in honor of the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (Latin: Americus Vespucius). After returning from his expeditions, Vespucci first postulated that the West Indies did not represent Asia's eastern limit, as initially thought by Columbus, but instead were part of an entirely separate landmass thus far unknown to the Europeans. Then in 1538, the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator used the name "America" on his map of the world, applying it to the entire Western Hemisphere. The first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq., to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort. The first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the 'United States of America'". The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence. This draft of the document did not surface until June 21, 1776, and it is unclear whether it was written before or after Dickinson used the term in his June 17 draft of the Articles of Confederation. The short form "United States" is also standard. Other common forms are the "U.S.", the "USA", and "America". Colloquial names are the "U.S. of A." and, internationally, the "States". "Columbia", a name popular in poetry and songs of the late 18th century, derives its origin from Christopher Columbus; it appears in the name "District of Columbia". Many landmarks and institutions in the Western Hemisphere bear his name, including the country of Colombia. The phrase "United States" was originally plural, a description of a collection of independent states—e.g., "the United States are"—including in the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1865. The singular form—e.g., "the United States is"—became popular after the end of the American Civil War. The singular form is now standard; the plural form is retained in the idiom "these United States". The difference is more significant than usage; it is a difference between a collection of states and a unit. A citizen of the United States is an "American". "United States", "American" and "U.S." refer to the country adjectivally ("American values", "U.S. forces"). In English, the word "American" rarely refers to topics or subjects not directly connected with the United States. History Main articles: History of the United States, Timeline of United States history, American business history, Economic history of the United States, and Labor history of the United States Indigenous peoples and pre-Columbian history Further information: Native Americans in the United States and Pre-Columbian era The Cliff Palace, built by ancient Native American Puebloans around 1190 AD It has been generally accepted that the first inhabitants of North America migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 12,000 years ago; however, increasing evidence suggests an even earlier arrival. After crossing the land bridge, the first Americans moved southward along the Pacific coast and through an interior ice-free corridor between the Cordilleran and Laurentide ice sheets. The Clovis culture appeared around 11,000 BC, and is considered to be an ancestor of most of the later indigenous cultures of the Americas. The Clovis culture was believed to represent the first human settlement of the Americas. Over the years, more and more evidence has advanced the idea of "pre-Clovis" cultures including tools dating back about 15,550 years ago. It is likely these represent the first of three major waves of migrations into North America. Over time, indigenous cultures in North America grew increasingly complex, and some, such as the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture in the southeast, developed advanced agriculture, grand architecture, and state-level societies. The Mississippian culture flourished in the south from 800 to 1600 AD, extending from the Mexican border down through Florida. Its city state Cahokia is considered the largest, most complex pre-Columbian archaeological site in the modern-day United States. In the Four Corners region, Ancestral Puebloans culture developed as the culmination of centuries of agricultural experimentation, which produced greater dependence on farming. A Native American Lecroy Point flint arrowhead, 9000-7000 BC Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States are credited to the Pueblos: Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and Taos Pueblo. The earthworks constructed by Native Americans of the Poverty Point culture in northeastern Louisiana have also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the southern Great Lakes region, the Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee) was established at some point between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. Most prominent along the Atlantic cost were the Algonquian tribes, who practiced hunting and trapping, along with limited cultivation. The date of the first settlements of the Hawaiian Islands is a topic of continuing debate. Archaeological evidence seems to indicate a settlement as early as 124 AD. Effects on and interaction with native populations Further information: American Indian Wars, Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, and Native American disease and epidemics With the progress of European colonization in the territories of the contemporary United States, the Native Americans were often conquered and displaced. The native population of America declined after Europeans arrived, and for various reasons, primarily diseases such as smallpox and measles. While estimating the original native population of North America at the time of European contact is difficult, an attempt was made in the early part of the twentieth century by James Mooney using historic records to estimate the indigenous population north of Mexico in 1600. In more recent years, Douglas H. Ubelaker of the Smithsonian Institution has updated these figures. While Ubelaker estimated that there was a population of 92,916 in the south Atlantic states and a population of 473,616 in the Gulf states, most academics regard the figure as too low. Anthropologist Henry F. Dobyns believed the populations were much higher, suggesting 1,100,000 along the shores of the gulf of Mexico, 2,211,000 people living between Florida and Massachusetts, 5,250,000 in the Mississippi Valley and tributaries and 697,000 people in the Florida peninsula. In the early days of colonization, many European settlers were subject to food shortages, disease, and attacks from Native Americans. Native Americans were also often at war with neighboring tribes and allied with Europeans in their colonial wars. At the same time, however, many natives and settlers came to depend on each other. Settlers traded for food and animal pelts, natives for guns, ammunition and other European wares. Natives taught many settlers where, when and how to cultivate corn, beans, and squash. European missionaries and others felt it was important to "civilize" the Native Americans and urged them to adopt European agricultural techniques and lifestyles. European settlements Further information: Colonial history of the United States, European colonization of the Americas, and Thirteen Colonies Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall With the advancement of European colonization in the territories of the contemporary United States, the Native Americans were often conquered and displaced. The first Europeans to arrive in the territory of the modern United States were Spanish conquistadors such as Juan Ponce de León, who made his first visit to Florida in 1513; however, if unincorporated territories are accounted for, then credit would go to Christopher Columbus who landed in Puerto Rico on his 1493 voyage. The Spanish set up the first settlements in Florida and New Mexico such as Saint Augustine and Santa Fe. The French established their own as well along the Mississippi River. Successful English settlement on the eastern coast of North America began with the Virginia Colony in 1607 at Jamestown and the Pilgrims' Plymouth Colony in 1620. Many settlers were dissenting Christian groups who came seeking religious freedom. The continent's first elected legislative assembly, Virginia's House of Burgesses created in 1619, the Mayflower Compact, signed by the Pilgrims before disembarking, and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, established precedents for the pattern of representative self-government and constitutionalism that would develop throughout the American colonies. Most settlers in every colony were small farmers, but other industries developed within a few decades as varied as the settlements. Cash crops included tobacco, rice, and wheat. Extraction industries grew up in furs, fishing and lumber. Manufacturers produced rum and ships, and by the late colonial period, Americans were producing one-seventh of the world's iron supply. Cities eventually dotted the coast to support local economies and serve as trade hubs. English colonists were supplemented by waves of Scotch-Irish and other groups. As coastal land grew more expensive, freed indentured servants pushed further west. European territorial claims during the mid-18th century A large-scale slave trade with English privateers was begun. The life expectancy of slaves was much higher in North America than further south, because of less disease and better food and treatment, leading to a rapid increase in the numbers of slaves. Colonial society was largely divided over the religious and moral implications of slavery, and colonies passed acts for and against the practice. But by the turn of the 18th century, African slaves were replacing indentured servants for cash crop labor, especially in southern regions. With the establishment of the Province of Georgia in 1732, the 13 colonies that would become the United States of America were administered by the British as overseas dependencies. All nonetheless had local governments with elections open to most free men, with a growing devotion to the ancient rights of Englishmen and a sense of self-government stimulating support for republicanism. With extremely high birth rates, low death rates, and steady settlement, the colonial population grew rapidly. Relatively small Native American populations were eclipsed. The Christian revivalist movement of the 1730s and 1740s known as the Great Awakening fueled interest both in religion and in religious liberty. During the Seven Years' War (in the United States, known as the French and Indian War), British forces seized Canada from the French, but the francophone population remained politically isolated from the southern colonies. Excluding the Native Americans, who were being conquered and displaced, the 13 British colonies had a population of over 2.1 million in 1770, about a third that of Britain. Despite continuing new arrivals, the rate of natural increase was such that by the 1770s only a small minority of Americans had been born overseas. The colonies' distance from Britain had allowed the development of self-government, but their success motivated monarchs to periodically seek to reassert royal authority. In 1774, the Spanish Navy ship Santiago, under Juan Pérez, entered and anchored in an inlet of Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island, in present-day British Columbia. Although the Spanish did not land, natives paddled to the ship to trade furs for abalone shells from California. At the time, the Spanish were able to monopolize the trade between Asia and North America, granting limited licenses to the Portuguese. When the Russians began establishing a growing fur trading system in Alaska, the Spanish began to challenge the Russians, with Pérez's voyage being the first of many to the Pacific Northwest.[h] During his third and final voyage, Captain James Cook became the first European to begin formal contact with Hawaii. Captain Cook's last voyage included sailing along the coast of North America and Alaska searching for a Northwest Passage for approximately nine months. Independence and expansion (1776–1865) Further information: American Revolutionary War, United States Declaration of Independence, American Revolution, and Territorial evolution of the United States Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull The American Revolutionary War was the first successful colonial war of independence against a European power. Americans had developed an ideology of "republicanism" asserting that government rested on the will of the people as expressed in their local legislatures. They demanded their rights as Englishmen and "no taxation without representation". The British insisted on administering the empire through Parliament, and the conflict escalated into war. The Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, which recognized in a long preamble that their unalienable rights were not being protected by Great Britain. The fourth day of July is celebrated annually as Independence Day: "... where, heretofore, the words 'United Colonies' have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the 'United States'". In 1777, the Articles of Confederation established a decentralized government that operated until 1789. Map of territorial acquisitions of the United States between 1783 and 1917 Following the decisive Franco-American victory at Yorktown in 1781, Britain signed the peace treaty of 1783, and American sovereignty was internationally recognized and the country was granted all lands east of the Mississippi River. Nationalists led the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in writing the United States Constitution, ratified in state conventions in 1788. The federal government was reorganized into three branches, on the principle of creating salutary checks and balances, in 1789. George Washington, who had led the Continental Army to victory, was the first president elected under the new constitution. The Bill of Rights, forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms and guaranteeing a range of legal protections, was adopted in 1791. Although the federal government criminalized the international slave trade in 1808, after 1820, cultivation of the highly profitable cotton crop exploded in the Deep South, and along with it, the slave population. The Second Great Awakening, especially 1800–1840, converted millions to evangelical Protestantism. In the North, it energized multiple social reform movements, including abolitionism; in the South, Methodists and Baptists proselytized among slave populations. Americans' eagerness to expand westward prompted a long series of American Indian Wars. The Louisiana Purchase of French-claimed territory in 1803 almost doubled the nation's area. The War of 1812, declared against Britain over various grievances and fought to a draw, strengthened U.S. nationalism. A series of military incursions into Florida led Spain to cede it and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819. The expansion was aided by steam power, when steamboats began traveling along America's large water systems, many of which were connected by new canals, such as the Erie and the I&M; then, even faster railroads began their stretch across the nation's land. American bison grazing The Gateway Arch, in St. Louis, Missouri, was built in 1965 to commemorate the westward expansion of the United States. From 1820 to 1850, Jacksonian democracy began a set of reforms which included wider white male suffrage; it led to the rise of the Second Party System of Democrats and Whigs as the dominant parties from 1828 to 1854. The Trail of Tears in the 1830s exemplified the Indian removal policy that forcibly resettled Indians into the west on Indian reservations. The U.S. annexed the Republic of Texas in 1845 during a period of expansionist Manifest destiny. The 1846 Oregon Treaty with Britain led to U.S. control of the present-day American Northwest. Victory in the Mexican–American War resulted in the 1848 Mexican Cession of California and much of the present-day American Southwest. The California Gold Rush of 1848–49 spurred migration to the Pacific coast, which led to the California Genocide and the creation of additional western states. After the American Civil War, new transcontinental railways made relocation easier for settlers, expanded internal trade and increased conflicts with Native Americans. For half a century, the rapidly declining buffalo struck an existential blow to many Plains Indians' culture. In 1869, a new Peace Policy nominally promised to protect Native-Americans from abuses, avoid further war, and secure their eventual U.S. citizenship. Nonetheless, large-scale conflicts continued throughout the West into the 1900s. Civil War and Reconstruction era Further information: American Civil War and Reconstruction era President Abraham Lincoln in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863 Differences of opinion regarding the slavery of Africans and African Americans ultimately led to the American Civil War. Initially, states entering the Union had alternated between slave and free states, keeping a sectional balance in the Senate, while free states outstripped slave states in population and in the House of Representatives. But with additional western territory and more free-soil states, tensions between slave and free states mounted with arguments over federalism and disposition of the territories, whether and how to expand or restrict slavery. With the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln, the first president from the largely anti-slavery Republican Party, conventions in thirteen slave states ultimately declared secession and formed the Confederate States of America (the "South"), while the federal government (the "Union") maintained that secession was illegal. In order to bring about this secession, military action was initiated by the secessionists, and the Union responded in kind. The ensuing war would become the deadliest military conflict in American history, resulting in the deaths of approximately 618,000 soldiers as well as many civilians. The South fought for the freedom to own slaves, while the Union at first simply fought to maintain the country as one united whole. Nevertheless, as casualties mounted after 1863 and Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation, the main purpose of the war from the Union's viewpoint became the abolition of slavery. Indeed, when the Union ultimately won the war in April 1865, each of the states in the defeated South was required to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibited slavery. Three amendments were added to the U.S. Constitution in the years after the war: the aforementioned Thirteenth as well as the Fourteenth Amendment providing citizenship to the nearly four million African Americans who had been slaves, and the Fifteenth Amendment ensuring in theory that African Americans had the right to vote. The war and its resolution led to a substantial increase in federal power aimed at reintegrating and rebuilding the South while guaranteeing the rights of the newly freed slaves. Reconstruction began in earnest following the war. While President Lincoln attempted to foster friendship and forgiveness between the Union and the former Confederacy, his assassination on April 14, 1865, drove a wedge between North and South again. Republicans in the federal government made it their goal to oversee the rebuilding of the South and to ensure the rights of African Americans. They persisted until the Compromise of 1877 when the Republicans agreed to cease protecting the rights of African Americans in the South in order for Democrats to concede the presidential election of 1876. Southern white Democrats, calling themselves "Redeemers", took control of the South after the end of Reconstruction. From 1890 to 1910, so-called Jim Crow laws disenfranchised most blacks and some poor whites throughout the region. Blacks faced racial segregation, especially in the South. They also occasionally experienced vigilante violence, including lynching. Further immigration, expansion, and industrialization Main articles: Economic history of the United States and Technological and industrial history of the United States Ellis Island, in New York Harbor, was a major entry point for European immigration into the U.S. In the North, urbanization and an unprecedented influx of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe supplied a surplus of labor for the country's industrialization and transformed its culture. National infrastructure including telegraph and transcontinental railroads spurred economic growth and greater settlement and development of the American Old West. The later invention of electric light and the telephone would also affect communication and urban life. The United States fought Indian Wars west of the Mississippi River from 1810 to at least 1890. Most of these conflicts ended with the cession of Native American territory and the confinement of the latter to Indian reservations. This further expanded acreage under mechanical cultivation, increasing surpluses for international markets. Mainland expansion also included the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. In 1893, pro-American elements in Hawaii overthrew the monarchy and formed the Republic of Hawaii, which the U.S. annexed in 1898. Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines were ceded by Spain in the same year, following the Spanish–American War. American Samoa was acquired by the United States in 1900 after the end of the Second Samoan Civil War. The United States purchased the U.S. Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917. The Statue of Liberty in New York City, symbol of the United States as well as its ideals Rapid economic development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries fostered the rise of many prominent industrialists. Tycoons like Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie led the nation's progress in railroad, petroleum, and steel industries. Banking became a major part of the economy, with J. P. Morgan playing a notable role. Edison and Tesla undertook the widespread distribution of electricity to industry, homes, and for street lighting. Henry Ford revolutionized the automotive industry. The American economy boomed, becoming the world's largest, and the United States achieved great power status. These dramatic changes were accompanied by social unrest and the rise of populist, socialist, and anarchist movements. This period eventually ended with the advent of the Progressive Era, which saw significant reforms in many societal areas, including women's suffrage, alcohol prohibition, regulation of consumer goods, greater antitrust measures to ensure competition and attention to worker conditions. World War I, Great Depression, and World War II Further information: World War I, Great Depression, and World War II The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world when completed in 1931, during the Great Depression. The United States remained neutral from the outbreak of World War I in 1914 until 1917, when it joined the war as an "associated power", alongside the formal Allies of World War I, helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson took a leading diplomatic role at the Paris Peace Conference and advocated strongly for the U.S. to join the League of Nations. However, the Senate refused to approve this and did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles that established the League of Nations. In 1920, the women's rights movement won passage of a constitutional amendment granting women's suffrage. The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of radio for mass communication and the invention of early television. The prosperity of the Roaring Twenties ended with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression. After his election as president in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt responded with the New Deal, which included the establishment of the Social Security system. The Great Migration of millions of African Americans out of the American South began before World War I and extended through the 1960s; whereas the Dust Bowl of the mid-1930s impoverished many farming communities and spurred a new wave of western migration. U.S. troops landing on Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944 At first effectively neutral during World War II while Germany conquered much of continental Europe, the United States began supplying materiel to the Allies in March 1941 through the Lend-Lease program. On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, prompting the United States to join the Allies against the Axis powers. Although Japan attacked the United States first, the U.S. nonetheless pursued a "Europe first" defense policy. The United States thus left its vast Asian colony, the Philippines, isolated and fighting a losing struggle against Japanese invasion and occupation, as military resources were devoted to the European theater. During the war, the United States was referred to as one of the "Four Policemen" of Allies power who met to plan the postwar world, along with Britain, the Soviet Union and China. Although the nation lost around 400,000 military personnel, it emerged relatively undamaged from the war with even greater economic and military influence. Nuclear explosion from the Trinity Test Trinity test of the Manhattan Project's nuclear weapon The United States played a leading role in the Bretton Woods and Yalta conferences with the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and other Allies, which signed agreements on new international financial institutions and Europe's postwar reorganization. As an Allied victory was won in Europe, a 1945 international conference held in San Francisco produced the United Nations Charter, which became active after the war. The United States and Japan then fought each other in the largest naval battle in history in terms of gross tonnage sunk, the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The United States eventually developed the first nuclear weapons and used them on Japan in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; causing the Japanese to surrender on September 2, ending World War II. Parades and celebrations followed in what is known as Victory Day, or V-J Day. Cold War and civil rights era Main articles: History of the United States (1945–1964), History of the United States (1964–1980), and History of the United States (1980–1991) Further information: Cold War, Civil Rights Movement, War on Poverty, Space Race, and Reaganomics Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, 1963 After World War II the United States and the Soviet Union competed for power, influence, and prestige during what became known as the Cold War, driven by an ideological divide between capitalism and communism and, according to the school of geopolitics, a divide between the maritime Atlantic and the continental Eurasian camps. They dominated the military affairs of Europe, with the U.S. and its NATO allies on one side and the USSR and its Warsaw Pact allies on the other. The U.S. developed a policy of containment towards the expansion of communist influence. While the U.S. and Soviet Union engaged in proxy wars and developed powerful nuclear arsenals, the two countries avoided direct military conflict. The United States often opposed Third World movements that it viewed as Soviet-sponsored, and occasionally pursued direct action for regime change against left-wing governments, even supporting right-wing authoritarian governments at times. American troops fought communist Chinese and North Korean forces in the Korean War of 1950–53. The Soviet Union's 1957 launch of the first artificial satellite and its 1961 launch of the first manned spaceflight initiated a "Space Race" in which the United States became the first nation to land a man on the moon in 1969. A proxy war in Southeast Asia eventually evolved into full American participation, as the Vietnam War. At home, the U.S. experienced sustained economic expansion and a rapid growth of its population and middle class. Construction of an Interstate Highway System transformed the nation's infrastructure over the following decades. Millions moved from farms and inner cities to large suburban housing developments. In 1959 Hawaii became the 50th and last U.S. state added to the country. The growing Civil Rights Movement used nonviolence to confront segregation and discrimination, with Martin Luther King Jr. becoming a prominent leader and figurehead. A combination of court decisions and legislation, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1968, sought to end racial discrimination. Meanwhile, a counterculture movement grew which was fueled by opposition to the Vietnam war, black nationalism, and the sexual revolution. U.S. president Ronald Reagan (left) and Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva, 1985 The launch of a "War on Poverty" expanded entitlements and welfare spending, including the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, two programs that provide health coverage to the elderly and poor, respectively, and the means-tested Food Stamp Program and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. The 1970s and early 1980s saw the onset of stagflation. After his election in 1980, President Ronald Reagan responded to economic stagnation with free-market oriented reforms. Following the collapse of détente, he abandoned "containment" and initiated the more aggressive "rollback" strategy towards the USSR. After a surge in female labor participation over the previous decade, by 1985 the majority of women aged 16 and over were employed. The late 1980s brought a "thaw" in relations with the USSR, and its collapse in 1991 finally ended the Cold War. This brought about unipolarity with the U.S. unchallenged as the world's dominant superpower. The concept of Pax Americana, which had appeared in the post-World War II period, gained wide popularity as a term for the post-Cold War new world order. Contemporary history Main articles: History of the United States (1991–2008) and History of the United States (2008–present) Further information: Gulf War, September 11 attacks, War on Terror, 2008 financial crisis, Affordable Care Act, and Death of Osama bin Laden The World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan during the September 11 terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda in 2001 One World Trade Center, newly built in its place After the Cold War, the conflict in the Middle East triggered a crisis in 1990, when Iraq under Saddam Hussein invaded and attempted to annex Kuwait, an ally of the United States. Fearing that the instability would spread to other regions, President George H. W. Bush launched Operation Desert Shield, a defensive force buildup in Saudi Arabia, and Operation Desert Storm, in a staging titled the Gulf War; waged by coalition forces from 34 nations, led by the United States against Iraq ending in the successful expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, restoring the former monarchy. Originating within U.S. military defense networks, the Internet spread to international academic platforms and then to the public in the 1990s, greatly affecting the global economy, society, and culture. Due to the dot-com boom, stable monetary policy under Alan Greenspan, and reduced social welfare spending, the 1990s saw the longest economic expansion in modern U.S. history, ending in 2001. Beginning in 1994, the U.S. entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), linking 450 million people producing $17 trillion worth of goods and services. The goal of the agreement was to eliminate trade and investment barriers among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico by January 1, 2008. Trade among the three partners has soared since NAFTA went into force. On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda terrorists struck the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., killing nearly 3,000 people. In response, the United States launched the War on Terror, which included war in Afghanistan and the 2003–11 Iraq War. In 2007, the Bush administration ordered a major troop surge in the Iraq War, which successfully reduced violence and led to greater stability in the region. Government policy designed to promote affordable housing, widespread failures in corporate and regulatory governance, and historically low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve led to the mid-2000s housing bubble, which culminated with the 2008 financial crisis, the largest economic contraction in the nation's history since the Great Depression. Barack Obama, the first African-American and multiracial president, was elected in 2008 amid the crisis, and subsequently passed stimulus measures and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in an attempt to mitigate its negative effects and ensure there would not be a repeat of the crisis. The stimulus facilitated infrastructure improvements and a relative decline in unemployment. Dodd-Frank improved financial stability and consumer protection, although there has been debate about its effects on the economy. President Donald Trump and former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter at the state funeral of George H. W. Bush, December 2018 In 2010, the Obama administration passed the Affordable Care Act, which made the most sweeping reforms to the nation's healthcare system in nearly five decades, including mandates, subsidies and insurance exchanges.
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